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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 11, 2006 2:34 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ding dong. The next post in this blog is Wicked Thought of the Day. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

School tax chaos

Just got an e-mail from the co-chairs of the Portland School Board. Curiously, it suggests that there may still be some sort of tax measure for schools on the May ballot:

Right now, there are still three options on the table. Mayor Tom Potter deserves enormous credit for putting forward the first: a citywide income tax to help all schools in Portland. A second option would be a local property tax measure for Portland Public Schools. Under the third option, there would be no funding measure on the ballot in May. In that scenario, we would work with Portland Public Schools' community partners to pull together some funding support. We would spend down our limited reserves, and we would work with our schools community to decide on some significant budget reductions. Under any option, we must launch a communications effort to actively and openly engage our community in a discussion about the reforms underway at Portland Public Schools, and the course we are charting for the future.

Like you, we are fiercely committed to providing the best education we can for every child, in every school in every part of our school district. Our kids deserve no less. Under any option, our goal is clear: To prevent teacher lay-offs and maintain a full school year to the fullest extent possible.

Over the next few days and weeks, our course will become clear. We invite all of you to continue in the conversation, for our schools and for our kids.

David Wynde and Bobbie Regan
Co-Chairs, Portland School Board

The fact that these folks can't decide whether it's over or not is a very discouraging sign. I'm sure the mayor's Taiwan junket didn't help. Maybe he got back home, picked up a paper, read that Super Vicki had killed his tax plan, and said, "What???!!!"

For better or worse, the school tax vote in May is deader than a doornail. Why not give it a decent burial and move on?

Comments (30)

Just read this wonderful post via LeftyBlogs.

http://oregonwip.blogspot.com/2006/02/education-makeover_11.html

I think the writer hit it on the head... we need to re-think how we think about education.

I love learning, it's teachers I can't stand. As contrasted with The nO's paper (Sunday editorials) seeming to love teachers and mayors and commissioners except who they hate, it's learning that the paper can't stand.

The school board members may be imperfect, and the times topsy-turvy, but the single pre-eminence of education always the civil-most of civilization can never fail.

And where the paper's editorials are so past their sale date, comes into conviction what started as only a hunch last week: The zerO newspaper is the agent of negativity which is corroding corrupting and destroying this town and, as far as it goes, this state.

The sure sign is when, as Sunday, those blame birds go finger pointing in every direction except the mirror -- 'it's the mayor, it's the city council, it's the school board ... we know and we say but we are not involved.'

I'm not saying the office holders are Solon or Solomon. I'm saying their attackers' flame of pain shows mainly lack of brain, that the Jekyll and Hyde journal subverts in Full Moon lunatic talk all or more than it ever composes the community.

Hold your heads up, city politicians, stay true to schools, committed to that truth, and leave by-gone brokers of power to take a powder.

As for the Immediate 3-Step Edict on Education from the newspaper, a proposed 3-step's back: shut up, shut up, shut up.

I would say that they must seek some sort of funding, in the political arena. If they did not I would try to object to any claim for the need for urgency in resolution of a legal case testing the scope of judicial authority in asserting a constitutional mandate to adequately fund education. If I did so I would try to tie in my other great issue . . . the off-topic one, and the class action by recent retirees, if I could find the proper mechanism, like a superior need for finality and certainty going forward on costs.

These folks cannot be expected to wrap their heads around the full set of challenges that they face.

Howm much less are they going to get in this next budget than they got in the last budget?
And I'm not talking about how much less are they going to get in this next budget than what they wanted to get....

Portland schools needs to identify publicly any unfunded state and federal mandates, mandatory programs that can be considered redundant, and school book purchase expenses. Why? Because voters need to know why they fund programs that people outside the PPS district have forced them to spend precious dollars to support. Why? Because voters are unaware that California and Texas school districts, being the largest in the nation, are the force behind books, not podunk Portland. Why? Because making all PPS schools equal costs too much and produces no real benefit.

Well - after having spent 2 1/2 hours this morning with a room full of parents, teachers, students, school board members, our superintendent, and reps from the mayor's office, I have this to say: while I'm scared to death about what the next few months will bring our schools, I'm 100% behind the folks making the tough decisions, and I trust them to make the right ones from here on out (they'll be hearing from a whole lot of people along the way, yours truly included, of course!)

It's clear that they're listening, that they hope to build strong, united coalitions going forward, and that every stakeholder involved has a chance to affect what happens next. The job now is to get everyone at the table to come to agreement about what's needed, what we're willing to do, who's going to do what, and how we start again - together - to make our case.

That's right, but you have to wonder where the leadership has been for the last three years. Everyone knew that the county income tax was going to run out. Even Super Vicki should have been on this from Day 1. I guess they were busy on the phone with Derry Jackson's bail bondsman.

If a new tax proposal coes up this November or next spring sometime, its opponents are going to feel mighty empowered by this backdown. If you can't pass a new tax as a continuation of the county tax, when can you pass it? It looks to me like a permanent budget cut, and probably a very damaging one at that.

As for the thought of Salem making things better for Portland schools, it's ludicrous enough to merit its own rim shot.

Hey this is a village.

You also have to wonder why this group is AWOL
when it comes to the other issues on the Village plater.

It takes a Village right?

So why hasn't this room full of parents, teachers, students, school board members, our superintendent and Portland School's Foundation
ever gone after any monies wasted in the village?

Is there any doubt these other areas are adversely effecting public support for schools?

Susan Nielson in the O seems to get it.
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/susan_nielsen/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1139626529207010.xml&coll=7

"While they support local schools, they're irritated at government for wasting their money --and they don't make distinctions between school districts and other types of government."

"To voters, the City Council can't be trusted with a checkbook. They design trams on cocktail napkins and launch random vanity projects. A majority of its members treat money like it pours out of a fountain somewhere. Erik Sten treats money like it's in quotation marks."

"Commissioners drag their feet on fixing big problems, such as the city's retirement and disability fund for police officers and firefighters. Then they support every hippy-dippy project that comes along."

I would add the Wapato Jail & Transit Mall among other negatives which voters are viewing as waste, mismanagement or lower priorities.

Potter & Linn et al are either refusing to stop any of them, are delaying needed remedies and show no signs of any redirection.

As the brick wall approaches they appear to be accelerating.

Government does waste our money by prioritizing badly. The distinctions in school money versus city money versus county money are nothing more than a red herring. As many have heard me say, if we can find money for trams and other non-essentials (remember when they wanted to build an ice rink in Pioneer Square?)we certainly can find money to fund our public schools.

No one displays leadership in local government anymore. Potter's lame excuse that businesses won't support his tax plan, so he pulled it, is indicative of a lack of leadership. If he isn't the guy to go to businesses, and voters for that matter, and show them why it makes sense to support Portland's future, then who is? Vicki Phillips? Please. She has nothing invested in Portland or its future.

If our politicians can't be on the frontlines of making education in Portland a priority, no one is going to buy in. Too bad for us all in the long run.

Jack:
To your point, I had Super Vicki on my show months ago and asked point blank what she was going to do to when the ITAX and local option ran out. She talked only about replacement revenues.

I asked how the district would cut costs by 12% if it needed to, if its GF budget indeed fell in round terms from $400 to $350 million.

She had no response. Seems to me that would have been about the time the district was coming up with some pretty serious contingency plans in case it became obvious that voters wouldn't pass another tax.

It was clear to me that it was almost unthinkable to her that there would be no replacement revenue, and so she simply refused to think about it.

"The distinctions in school money versus city money versus county money are nothing more than a red herring."

No, it's a little more than that. As long as there's a net outflow of revenues from the Portland school district to other parts of the state, and as long as there are unfunded mandates for special ed and the like, those represent a genuine burden. Without them, we could perhaps have our share of schools and boondoggles and other public services.

She had no response. Seems to me that would have been about the time the district was coming up with some pretty serious contingency plans in case it became obvious that voters wouldn't pass another tax.

Rob--they DO have a contingency plan: cut teachers and cut school days. If you look at the budget, it is impossible to survive a cut of this magnitude without laying people off and hacking the school year to pieces. I think what you perceived as reluctance on Vicki's part to talk about "contingency plans" was simply her acknowledgment that there are only so many places to save the kind of money they'll need to save.

There is a critical piece of information missing from the argument that schools would somehow have more local funding if only there was less waste in other areas. Traditionally, local funding for schools (and local government) comes from property taxes. Measure 5 separated property taxes for schools from property taxes for other government functions and limited them both. Portland's permanent property tax rate (fixed under Measure 50) is close to its Measure 5 school limit ($5 per thousand, down from around $15 in 1990 when schools were largely locally funded). The Constitution prevents raising and spending property taxes from the non-school portion on schools. So, even if all of the complaints about monies wasted by local governments (PDX, PDC, Mult. Co., etc.) are correct, fixing them will not yield a dime for eduction. The only local options are an income tax or a local option property tax subject to the M5 limits.

elves isn't helping with
"""""So, even if all of the complaints about monies wasted by local governments (PDX, PDC, Mult. Co., etc.) are correct, fixing them will not yield a dime for eduction.""""

Oh the ignorance. It's amazing how successful the bureaucracies and press have been.

Keep in mind this is just one of many tools for misappropriation.

The PDC uses property taxes.
Portland alone now diverts some $65 million in property taxes from basic services a year. Including schools.
At least $20 million of it from the schools.
Meaning the State gives Portland more from the common school fund.
Because of the common school fund distribution the $20 million trims school funding from every district in the State.
Throughout the State there are some 70 Urban Renewal districts doing the same.
Clackamas county now diverts $25 million a year from the $1.34 BILLION in property value now held in Urban renewal increments and away from basic services.
That's a lot of dimes.

Right now the PDC is earmarking $18 million for economic development in the SoWa first phase budget.
The city could easily send that money to PPS as economic development. The case has been made repeatedly by many politicians that the best economic development is good education.
So there's the connection.
We also have precedence.
Last year a local municipality paid $1 million out of their Urban Renewal funds for new astro turf at their High school.
If they can make the case for astro turf Portland can do the same for teachers and books.
My preference would be to make the district restructure it's costs and spending to a level that is affordable and sustainable.
But that means the unions take a hit and more charter schools which powerful forces will combat.
But the waste and misappropriation in other areas certainly effects school funding. Absolutely directly, indirectly and by diminishing public support.

Anyone mouthing off to obscure this reality is deliberately or unintentionally part of the problem.

Steve, all of those things are true but Measure 5 is an absoulutely damaging bit of law, as well. My question is, if we could implement Measure 5 through intiative, can't we undo it by initiave?

While this may not be the ultimate fix-it, and Steve, you make a good point about funding cuts all over the state, it certainly could be a start to putting our schools back on track statewide.

Oh, here's another idea. How about electing legislators this year who will actually put schools first in the budget talks?

Why are we forgetting the fact that benefits and PERS are the biggest drain of money in the PPS? I'm not anti-teacher, anti-kids, anti-schools or anything of the sort. What I am is this: pro KIDS and wondering why we can't get the expenses in line, just like in the real world. I pay more for my benefits every year, and whether I like it or not, it is a fact of reality. If my employer did not pass on some of those increasing expenses to me, I just might be the one getting laid off.
Why are teachers and employees of the district immume to this? Yeah, the union, I know....

The diverting and use of school funds is of course multifaceted.

Amoung others, Urban Renewal prevents it from arriving there and PERS devours an excessive amount.

To highlight the need to fix these before any M5 or kicker reform we must face the reality that throughout the 90s Oregon outspent Washington
by around $1200.00/student/year while both states launched similar school reforms and produced similar student performance outcomes.

In recent years the spending has become relatively equal yet Oregon, it appears has far more severe problems.

Leaving zero doubt Oregon has a spending problem and any additional monies would simply return Oregon to the 90s higher level of spending while still producing the same outcome as Washington.

Is that what we want?
I don't think so.

Slacker, the unions are immune to this because they are allowed to be immune. Until all of the other PRO-KIDS folks like yourself rise up and demand something different, you will get the same old Teachers First (and Kids afterwards) situation that we have. People who blindly support whatever the Union says (thinking that they are helping schools and kids) are part of the problem.

The good thing is that many people (including many teachers...or at least the ones who are not total dead wood) are realizing that the Unions need to change with the times. If the Unions continue to do what they have in the past, class sizes will continue to rise, which makes it harder for the teachers who are trying to teach something to what 5-7 years ago was a class of 22-24 and today is a class of over 30+, and in a few years will be over 40 kids per class.

Who loses? Kids, Parents and Teachers.

Slacker, the unions are immune to this because they are allowed to be immune. Until all of the other PRO-KIDS folks like yourself rise up and demand something different, you will get the same old Teachers First (and Kids afterwards) situation that we have. People who blindly support whatever the Union says (thinking that they are helping schools and kids) are part of the problem.

The good thing is that many people (including many teachers...or at least the ones who are not total dead wood) are realizing that the Unions need to change with the times. If the Unions continue to do what they have in the past, class sizes will continue to rise, which makes it harder for the teachers who are trying to teach something to what 5-7 years ago was a class of 22-24 and today is a class of over 30+, and in a few years will be over 40 kids per class.

Who loses? Kids, Parents and Teachers.

SS - Obscuring M5? Its right there in Article XI sec. 11b of the Oregon Constitution. PDC cannot classify school monies as local government under TIF, so sayeth the Supremes in the Shilo Inn decision. And since under M5, property taxes classified as and raised for schools must be spent on schools, how precisely does PDC take any property tax dollars from schools? Remember, you can't turn back the clock on the existing UR districts - that's in the constitution too.

BTW, I think M5 is one of the worst things to happen to Oregon's tax system and long for the good 'ol days when folks could fund schools with their local taxes if they so desired. But, focusing only on the funding side for the moment, specifically the property tax, I simply don't see where the problems with local government's alleged excesses, if rectified, would yield more funding for schools. Again, under M5 the property tax dollars that are raised for and spent by local government cannot be redirected to schools.

elves asked"""""how precisely does PDC take any property tax dollars from schools?""""""""

Try and pay attention while I repeat my earlier post.
The PDC uses property taxes.
Portland alone now diverts some $65 million in property taxes from basic services a year. Including schools.
At least $20 million of it from the schools.
Here's the important part*****************
**********
Meaning the State gives Portland more from the common school fund. PPS has $20 million less locally (because of UR to deduct)from the State share.

Because of the common school fund distribution the $20 million trims school funding from every district in the State.

Throughout the State there are some 70 Urban Renewal districts doing the same.
Clackamas county now diverts $25 million a year from the $1.34 BILLION in property value now held in Urban renewal increments and away from basic services.
That's a lot of dimes.

Why is M5 the worst?

Did you know even with M5 Oregon outspent Washington through the 90s by a good margine only to get the same results?

So tell me exactly high should proerty taxes be and how much more than Washington should have spent?

It's a spending problem.

SS - Your one, imprecise note ignores the reality of the world as it actually is. I guess your point is that you are not a big fan of UR (and PERS, etc.), but simply railing about a constitutional TIF system does not answer the simple core question I posed - how precisely does PDC take any property taxes from schools? You've claimed that it does, even spouted a number (unsourced and unexplained), but, in the context of this thread (school funding), in light of the fact that M5 requires that UR property taxes be classified and spent as local government, and considering the reality that the various UR districts and their related bonding exist and are not going away, how would you propose to move UR property tax dollars to schools? Please provide us with a precise, detailed solution.

elves,
You obviously don't know how UR works but I'll try again.

All assessed values and property taxes rise every year. The average is around 4%.
This increase helps offset the increasing costs of basic services.
If every assessed value increase for decades is
diverted away from basic services schools loose money.
In Portland alone, 12,000 acres of Real Estate is now having all those increases in value diverted away from basic services.
So every single $5.00 per thousand of assessed value in that "increment" does not go to basic services.
The increment in Portland is now diverting $65 million per year.
Clackamas County has $1.34 Billion in assessed value in their increment with $25 million this year being diverted.
The Oregonian today reports Clackamas County is about to borrow and spend $23 million in UR for an expansion to Clackamas Town Center.

Not one elected official or newspaper will detail where this money comes from or what it costs in debt service or to basic services.

You apparently want this lack of clarity to continue.
Do you profit somehow from participating in this UR game?

SS wrote "If every assessed value increase for decades is diverted away from basic services schools loose money."

Under existing Oregon law, when property taxes are divided under TIF for UR, they must be classified as local government and subject to M5 limits. "Basic services" are not schools and you've not shown how monies diverted from them makes "schools loose money" (let alone $20 million). At most, I think you've hypothecated a situation without decades of UR investment where values in the UR areas ended up the same as they are today (not likely, but its your hypo).

Its clear you don't like the 50-year old UR TIF system, PDC, etc. - fair enough. If your arguments and $20 million claims are based on a hypothetical world without UR, just say so. However, if you really have a plan whereby $20 million of property taxes could be redirected to Portland schools, say, this coming year, I'm sure there are plenty of folks that would like to hear the details.

elves,
You are clearly misleading people and part of the problem.
You either have not read any municipal impact report, are committed to being uniformed or are deliberately attempting to neutralize accurate information reaching the public.
Taxes are not "divided under TIF for UR", they simply pay back the development indebtedness.
As any county tax assessor will tell you and any municipal yearly impact report will show, diverting assessed value & taxes from the general funds of the taxing districts diminishes funding in all of them.
I don't know what it takes with you but I assume you are glad the PDC does not complete their yearly reports as required by State Law.
That way you can continue your deception.
Again, schools get $5.00 per every $1000.00 of property value.
If more than half the property value within the 12,000 acres of CoP UR districts is in the increment which is $4 BILLION
and $3.5 Billion is in the frozen base
schools are ONLY getting their $5 from the $3.5 Billion and NONE from the $4 Billion.
Now what part of that are you not getting?

With 70 UR district around the State the loss to the common school fund is enormous.

SS - Thanks for confirming that a) your claims regarding UR taking monies from schools are based on a hypothetical world where UR never existed, and b) you have no realistic plan for adding to school funding. Were you planning on setting the way back machine to the mid 1950s and undoing UR TIF?

UR taking monies from schools are based on a hypothetical world where UR never existed

When you try to gauge the effects of UR, of course you compare it to a world in which there is no UR. That's what the word "effect" means.

Since overall property taxes are strictly limited by state law, anything that spends property tax dollars takes away from other services that are funded by property tax dollars. You can blow all the bureaucrat smoke you want around that, but it's still the plain truth. And UR takes nearly 20 cents of every dollar of property tax that the City of Portland collects. The only bigger drain is the police and fire pension fund.

And what do we get for the money? The Pearl. SoWhat. Streetcars. The tram. Light rail on the transit mall, pushing buses out. Gragg me with a spoon.

At least those UR dollars aren't being wasted on road building or other autosaurus transportation subsidies.

Joanne R posted: "How much less are they going to get in this next budget than they got in the last budget? And I'm not talking about how much less are they going to get in this next budget than what they wanted to get...."

That's always a valid question. In 2004-05, last school year, Portland Public Schools collected $392 million in General Fund revenues. Then the local option property tax expired and the state desegregation funding ended. This year, PPS is collecting $365 million. Next year, without the local income tax, we expect to collect $329 million.

That's a real drop in dollars, not adjusted for inflation, or "current service level" or any other "what they wanted to get" factor.

Meanwhile, costs for the school district are rising, just as they are for the typical household: utilities, health care premiums, gas. . . and PPS is entering negotiations with its unions about potential contracts employees for next year. (This year there was no cost-of-living increase for administrators and other non-represented office employees.)

The projected shortfall, $57 million, is the difference between what it would take to maintain a status quo budget and what PPS expects to take in next year.

Portland Public Schools faces the same challenge we all live with: balancing a budget and living within our means. The School Board will do all it can to preserve class sizes at a reasonable level, and to protect a full school year. They'll keep squeezing administrative costs, and they'll spend down the reserves they prudently set aside when revenues were higher (those reserves, like a family's saving account, are set aside for a rainy day).

The volunteer Portland School Board will be inviting members of the community to offer their priorities as the Superintendent and Board develop the budget for next year.

I invite anyone to check the PPS website, at www.pps.k12.or.us for more information on the budget as it evolves . . . or send me an email at sames@pps.k12.or.us

Sarah Carlin Ames
PPS Communications

(It should be noted that there are also federal moneys and grant funds coming into the PPS budget, roughly $100 million a year. Those aren't changing much year to year, are targeted to help specific kids only, and can't be spent for teachers and operations in all schools.)

UR, however you choose to measure it, is what it is in so many ways that there'll probably not be any sudden substantial changes. The bonds are long-lived and well-secured. If you believe UR has overstayed its welcome, say because it takes too much resource, the only option is to incrementally shrink it. Do so with numbers that reflect all the current realities. A big rag on the tram [boom] was/is the lack of good numbers. So . . . how much of next year's gross PDX UR monies could be netted to schools (and how)?


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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 Dermoȗt - 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: 341
At this date last year: 203
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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