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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 7, 2006 5:32 AM. The previous post in this blog was View from up north. The next post in this blog is Kafka as nonfiction. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Radical cash-ectomy

Willamette Week has a breaking story going about Physicians' Hospital, in outer northeast Portland where Woodland Park Hospital used to be. Looks like they've had their Medicare money yanked. Make up your own metaphor for a death-blow.

The Double Dub's Nigel Jaquiss mentions at the end of the piece that the docs running the place took a $500,000 loan from the Portland Development Commission late in '04. Old Matt and the Don sure knew how to pick 'em.

Comments (14)

No big deal, Jack. As pointed out in the Oregonian's 1,654th editorial in support of the tram [...rimshot...], PDC doesn't spend general fund money, it "uses" urban renewal dollars.

Now, for household that doesn't live in an urban renewal area, yet pays almost 15% of its property taxes to PDC, does it really matter which bucket the money came from?

Best story of the day's in the Portland Tribune.

Garage Wine at March 7, 2006 07:03 AM Now, for household that doesn't live in an urban renewal area, yet pays almost 15% of its property taxes to PDC, does it really matter which bucket the money came from?
JK: Don't forget to add the other part: we all pay extra (in payments or reduced services) to make up for all that money collected within UR districts that dosen't get to the general fund.


The best part is that if the hospital fails, they will have suckered the PDC yet again with the $500,000. Way to go PDC!

The PDC is probably about to give them more, or they'll buy the property and sell it back to them for a song.
This is a typical PDC deal. PDC maps show the Gateway Urban Renewal district boundary was drawn to pick up the hospital site to allow PDC to spend money on it. Along with the site a few additional properties were included to ramp up the amount of monies available to divert from general fund budgets.

It is becoming increasingly disturbing that the Oregonian editorial page knowingly misrepresents Urban Renewal and the Porkland it feeds.

I know, from solid sources, that editorial page editor Bob Caldwell fully grasps the extent which the PDC diverts property taxes just prior to them arriving in general fund budgets.
I would imagine Bob even discusses UR with wife Lora Cuykendall who is OHSU's Director of News and Publications.

From the 12,000 UR acres this fiscal year over $4 billion in assessed property value has all of it's $63 million in property taxes withheld from general fund basic services including schools.
The editorial board knows this. Bob and Lora know this.
They also know that the 130 acre SoWa is getting far more than the Tram to leverage, trigger, stimulate or spur the redevelopment.
Since 1999, property taxes from the greater 409 acre SoWa Urban Renewal District, from ALL of the yearly increased assessments have been
diverted away from general fund basic services and into the development.
SoWa has also borrowed money from other UR districts.
The original SoWa plan called for $264 million in projects and $160 in debt service. All from property taxes diverted from general fund budgets. Observers of this Tram-SoWa scheme now estimate the public "zapping" will be in excess of $800 million based upon soaring costs and the unrealistic original estimates which low balled nearly every major line item in addition to the Tram.
There does appear to be some cause and effect at the O.
As quickly as the public cost of the Tram and SoWa soars the Oregonian's credibility plummets.

Lets be clear, the OREGONIAN is the cabin boy to the NEW YORK TIMES. The OREGONIAN is owned by New York interests and is a LIBERAL paper to the point of putting up with HUGE amounts of waste and abuse out of government. Only repeated election losses will temper it's liberal creed.

jim sez: "The OREGONIAN is owned by New York interests and is a LIBERAL paper to the point of putting up with HUGE amounts of waste and abuse out of government. Only repeated election losses will temper it's liberal creed.


"Liberal"? This is the paper where the owner was so rabidly anti-union that they shut out union printers? Over the span of years? Sure, it's owned by New York interests, all right, but it sure as hell ain't "liberal".

At The O, the labor policy is "unions are for everyone else but not for us." They maintain this with an editorial policy that is broadly favorable to unions, union leaders, the union political agenda and compulsory and monopolistic union methods; in particular and in general. It amounts to typical appeasement, and a typical double standard, in a durable, entrenched monopoly situation.

It is absurd that PDC with the Oregonian's help still insists tht the tram is only costing the taxpayers $3.5M.

They know that is false. Even in Commissioner Adam's opinion piece in the O a few weeks back he admits that the Tram in his cost accounting is costing the public $11M: $3.5M in TIF money, $5M given to OHSU in undescribed money from NM Urban Renewal funds, and $2.5M in reduced permitting/review fees= $11M.

Adams doesn't take into account the land cost of $4M for just the east terminal the taxpayers are giving to the Tram, nor Design Competition cost for the Tram, $1M, or the staff time of PDC, PDOT, for the execution of the cost to build the tram, nor even the PATI Board costs which came from city taxpayers. Larry Brown of PDC doesn't even include the financing costs on the $55M ( and rising) Tram cost.

At tonites public meeting about the Tram with Adams and Potter at PSU's Smith Hall it will be interesting to hear how they both can claim only $3.5M of taxpayers money is being used for the tram. We hope that in Oregonians requested negoitating room for Potter, that Potter understands the total taxpayers contributions already committed to the Tram. Beside, right at the moment there are meetings being held between PDC, City Council staff, Local Improvement District members (LID), OHSU and others to do horse trading to hid other benefits to OHSU so that City Council can claim; "we bargained hard"..."we will not go over $3.5M".

Even at Adam's $11M the public is paying for almost 20% of the tram, while estimated ridership by the general public is estimated to be around 10%, and that is high. If you take into account the other costs mentioned above the taxpayers portion reaches approximately $18M or 33% of tram costs, and that is without the financing costs.

Please, City Council and Oregonian, come clean. The public gets it.

"unions are for everyone else but not for us."

Funny, wasn't that ultimatley Ralph Naders opinion when he locked out his own publications staff?


Sam Adams and Mayor Potters Public Tram Meeting is not tonite, but thursday @ Smith Hall, PSU from 6:30 to 8:30PM. Rm 355. Sorry. They want imput.

Please, City Council and Oregonian, come clean. The public gets it.

But, you see, they don't. The public knows what it reads and the line that is toed by the media. In fact, I'm sure everyone read Bruce Warner's (hit) piece the other day and went, "Oh. Good. I thought the tram was in trouble, but if the PDC guy's ok with it, it must be fine. Everything he says sounds groooovy."

And they read Sam Adams piece and said, "I like Sam. He's a straight-up guy. If he's for the tram, and he promises it's only $3.5 MM and that we can't live without it, then, well, who am I to judge?" Portland's way down on judging.

And they read the O's editorial (of course, all of this is assuming people are actually reading Metro, page c-7 on a regular basis, which I can assure you they're not), and say, "Well, the O can be hard on things that are bad, and they're very much in favor of the Tram. I'm sure there aren't any conflicts of interest or things that they're leaving out. They ARE the state's largest daily paper and journalists are supposed to be sniffing out all the bad stuff, right? Except on Fox, which can just make up stuff, but we know not to trust Fox."

A lie repeated enough becomes fact. I find myself thinking, "it's only 3.5" when I know much better. I think sometimes, "Well, maybe the mall project IS vital to downtown..."

Then I splash some cold water on my face and get back to my day.

On a sidenote, with March 10 looming, and despite Jack's hilarious Photoshop skills, I am withdrawing from the Saltzman race. The power of incumbency and the short timeframe I put myself on just isn't enough to be competitive. Thanks to all who offered support. I'll be looking for other places to make a difference. I hear Sam Adams needs someone to manage some construction project near OHSU....

Tram Meeting:
TUESDAY, March 14, 2006 ( NOTE THE CHANGED DATE - no longer Thursday the 9th)
6:30-9:00 pm
Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway.
Vanport Room at PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union; Room #338 (3rd Floor)

(Note changed time and Location- no longer 6:30-8:30 in the Ballroom)

Above is from:

Well, after two delays in tram meetings between OHSU, PDC, LID owners, and city staff; and now the postponement of the public tram meeting with Sam and Potter, something must be going on.

They got to get the "script" down, hid a few more million bucks, somehow figure out how to "media soften" the price overruns that are coming down the pike that are above the latest $55M (rumors) price tag, and to have OHSU buy a few more adds in the Oregonian showing how beneficial they are to the region, and to have the Oregonian write a few more favorable editorials about North Macadam and the tram, and still miss the point about Urban Renewal in general. Caldwell will have to talk to his wife tonite and arrange a few things. We're so dumb.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
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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
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
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In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
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In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
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In 2004: 204
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