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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 31, 2006 10:50 AM. The previous post in this blog was We're from the city, and we're here to help you. The next post in this blog is Up the Cup. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Poles of mystery

After months of passing these things on the streets of Portland, I give up. What are they -- bike racks?

They're fancy. Up at the top, there are lovely icons of walking, driving, biking, and riding a bus:

But down below, the place where you'd chain up a bike is puny. You couldn't get more than two bikes around the thing, if that, and one of them would be out in the sidewalk or awfully close to the street.

What are these things? How much did they cost? Who paid for them? And has anyone ever, ever seen them doing anything other than standing there taking up space?

Comments (89)

Parking space for FlexCar.

Did Flexcar pay for those things?

Now I'm a little embarrassed to admit what I thought they were: The stir stick for a giant space-alien cocktail.

All part of the fun here at Stenland.

such a progressive design can only be the work of Public-Private partnerships. By the way I know its off topic but any update from Emily Boyles appeals meeting this moring?

They are equal to the swinging watch a hypnotist would use.
If you look at them enough you'll fall into a lumbering trance and state of euphoria with a newly established enamor for the bike, the walk and the transit ride, thereby contributing to the higher state of our collective existence.
Dr. Schopp

Oh bullshat, those commie created dumbazz poles are phony Portland art meant to perpetrate a perpetual pretense of planners planning something worth planning. It doesn't matter what they cost or do.
Gadfly Schopp

The link above notes that lost parking meter revenue as a problem, but most of those Flexcar spots are sited in neighborhoods, not Downtown. The point seems moot anyway, simply because parking revenue simply moves to a another spot... there are usually spare parking spots within 2-3 blocks of where you wish to be, even at peak times.

I *think* those poles double as bus stops as well... at least those spots seem to be adjacent to bus stops.

"phony Portland art meant to perpetrate a perpetual pretense of planners planning something worth planning."
That is perhaps the best sentence I have read in a long time, nice work. it actually sums up alot about portland.

Although I don't know this for certain, my impression (as a flexcar user) is that those poles are always at flexcar spots and serve two purposes: as a little marker for a flexcar, and as a (lame) place to lock your bike (as many people including myself ride a bike to flexcar). You're right that they're not very good bike locks, but I think that was the intent.

It was always my belief that flexcar paid for them since they seem to ONLY appear at flexcar spots... but I might be wrong!

It's interesting, because Flexcar is a private company controlled by Steve Case, the former AOL chair. He doesn't need my money.

The sign pictured is indeed at a Flexcar parking spacce. It is not a bus stop, but it is near one.

I called the Flexcar Portland office (BTW, just as an aside, their customer service is some of the best I've ever dealt with on the occasions I've had to use it) and the person in charge of "general questions" (Chris, I believe) said that he thinks the city paid for the poles, but he isn't positive.

As an obnoxious Stennie, I have to admit the rare occasion when I agree with Steve Schopp. If the city paid for these, that's really quite a sham.

Between the signs and the parking space giveaways, it's obvious that the city is promoting this pretty heavily.

Why? Driving is driving. Why should people who decide to own cars (or indeed, city taxpayers generally) pay to subsidize the rides of people who decide to rent cars?

And as a quick "name that location": is that 21st & Weidler? If so, I took that Flexcar all weekend. As a quick "name that location": Is that 21st & Weidler? If so, I was in that flexcar all weekend. We took it up to Seattle.

Also, we found a pair of large black women's underwear (women's lynchpins?) under the front passenger seat. Uhh. I think we left it under the seat and tried to pretend it never happened.

Subsidy? I haven't found the definitive answer for Portland, but Flexcar picks up the signage tab in other cities. The city has to "donate" the loss of the parking meter.

The city has to "donate" the loss of the parking meter.

And why should it do that?

no meter "donation" at 21st and Weidler. No meters there to donate.

The question "why should it do that," if it assumes that there are Flexcar-only spots that took up formerly metered parking, is that it is polciy choice to offer an incentive to encourage a certain behavior, namely, use of shared vehicles. But we all knew that.

Ah! But that was a rhetorical question, seeking to call out either that policy choice or the efficacy of the incentive to produce the desired result.

Got it.

The city "should" do that because the city desires less gridlock and less pollution. As well, other drivers should support such a move because removing cars from the roads means more space for them to sit in when they are stuck in rush hour traffic.
For example, if 10 people share the use of a FlexCar during the day, then those people will (conceivably) not be driving their cars downtown for their commute. The city thus has 10 fewer cars polluting the air and impacting the road surfaces, meaning less maintenance. As well, fewer cars means fewer parking garages for those 10 people to put their vehicles for 8 to 10 hours per day.
There are a lot of reasons why the city "should" support a program like this, at the loss of a few parking meters, but it would take all day to compile the list. A bright, jobless, person could probably do so without too much effort.

"The city has to "donate" the loss of the parking meter."
"And why should it do that?"

Jack, does anyone know how much a metered parking space in PDX *actually* brings in per year?

Those poles seem to be paid for by the city, but they're not exclusively for Flexcar. There are other (small) carshare programs in town, and other bigger players are on their way.

On a side note, the service Flexcar offers should appeal to both liberals and conservatives alike. We've all heard the environmental benefits, but the service also allows the city, county, and businesses to reduce their vehicle fleet budgets. It saved my last employer at least $10-$20K last year in mileage reimbursements. It's a great program with fans from all walks of life.

I believe Flexcar provides the poles and the City installs them when they mark off the space. Flexcar pays the City an administrative permit fee to do this, so I don't believe there is any net expense to the City.

If you believe the City should not be "donating" spaces to this use, let me ask if you also believe the City should collect a fee for loading zones or taxi stands that are in spaces that would otherwise be metered?

policy choice to offer an incentive to encourage a certain behavior, namely, use of shared vehicles.

If they're single-occupancy cars, what is the public benefit? A car on the road is a car on the road.

There are indications that a percentage of car-sharing members either do not own cars, or forgo a 2nd family car. One study estimates 5-15 private cars avoided for each car-sharing vehicle.

In inner-city neighborhoods with limited off-street parking, that's a big benefit to the whole community.

There is less emphatic evidence that car-sharing users make more use of transit and other modes as well.

It's a lot squishier than bike or bus, but I do know one person who sold her car because Flexcar gave her the peace of mind of knowing she could get a car when she needed one. She now drives SIGNIFICANTLY less (which is probably true of most people in her situation).

Of course, I doubt there are too many people for whom Flexcar made the difference between owning and not owning a car. But there are at least a handful.

Chris: I imagine most inner-city car-share members don't own cars. But how many don't own cars BECAUSE of Flexcar? Otherwise, they're people like me who would be biking or taking transit otherwise. In other words: when I get a FlexCar, I'm actually ADDING traffic congestion!

To take the public benefit argument to its absurd conclusion, it would benefit the public to buy me a new Harley because I'm going to take it and ride on country roads outside the city limits thereby reducing pollution in the city and getting one more vehicle out of city traffic.

Let me know when the check is ready....about 20 grand should do it!

Thanks!

if 10 people share the use of a FlexCar during the day, then those people will (conceivably) not be driving their cars downtown for their commute. The city thus has 10 fewer cars polluting the air and impacting the road surfaces, meaning less maintenance.

You're kidding. They'll all commute in and out of downtown at the same time. They'd need 10 Flexcars to get them all to work at 8:15 and home at 5:00.

Flexcar does not promote car pooling. In fact, it may have the slight effect of discouraging it.

There are other (small) carshare programs in town

Name one.

I am not aware of any other car sharing programs currently operating in Portland, although Zip Car, the other major national program has said they plan to enter the Portland market at some point.

Name one.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car now rents by the hour in Portland (and Portland only, AFAIK).

I know at least 5 households that have given up their primary and/or secondary car because of Flexcar. They did the math and realized they wouldn't be giving up much freedom to save thousands per year.

But hey, they're just pinko Portlanders, so what do they know anyway?

if you also believe the City should collect a fee for loading zones or taxi stands that are in spaces that would otherwise be metered?

I don't care whether they'd be metered or not. If a private business (yes, including cabs) gets a reserved space on the city street, it should have to pay for it. Especially in a place like Portland, where rich and poor pay $30 a month for the privilege of flushing a toilet.

Good point about Enterprise, although some distinguish it from car-sharing. More significantly, I don't believe Enterprise uses on-street spaces.

5-15 private cars avoided for each car-sharing vehicle

The public policy issue should not be the existence of the cars, but rather the trips taken.

Jack, on-street storage space is also a big issue. Here's the perverse logic. In a constrained environment like NW Portland, if a resident takes the bus to work, leaving their car parked on-street, it's one less space available for customers in the business district.

But for most of those folks who forgo a car because they belong to Flexcar, it's pretty clear there are a lot fewer auto trips.

In my family we have 3.5 drivers (learner's permit), 2 cars, and one Flexcar membership. I mostly use my feet, transit and my bike, but occassionally use the Flexcar if the two family cars are in use.

"A car on the road is a car on the road."

Sorta. I think it's probably more complicated than that.

A flexcar presumably spends more time on the road, and less time parked, than an ordinary owner-operated vehicle. If that assumption is true, it means that there's probably no gain in terms of cars in traffic... but it may well be a net gain in available parking spaces, because flexcar users didn't bring their own car to the area.

So setting aside a few parking spaces to facilitate the transfer from one user to the next has some justification. Think of it like a loading or taxi zone occupying a worse spot and with a lot less traffic.

Whether the benefit balances the cost is not really clear, though.

Jack- I know of less-commercial car-share programs around the area --like car co-ops-- but I don't have names, nor do I know if they use the Flexcar spaces. But from what I understand, the city can't limit it to just Flexcar.

While we're on the subject of reserved spaces on public streets, what do people think of those painted-on handicapped parking 'boxes' on residential streets? I've seen a few around town and assumed they were the result of some serious petitioning by an individual to the city. If they're tied to a single residence, wouldn't they be worth more cause for concern?

The draft City policy under consideration would limit on-street spaces to two car-sharing companies. I am opposing this part of the policy.

Alan: Actually, it doesn't work like that. Each individual FlexCar is designated its own parking spot. The car is either parked in that spot, or in normal parking. You can not park one FlexCar in another FlexCar's spot and no other cars can park in a FlexCar spot.

If you think about it, it sort of needs to work like that. Cars have to be "reserved" for a chunk of time, and you don't want to reserve a car and then find out there isn't a single one anywhere near you.

Jack, would you at least concede that a family with one car (and FlexCar) probably takes less "trips" than a family with two cars? Only having one car forces people to evaluate whether they really "need" to drive that car 8 blocks to the store or two miles into downtown instead of walking or bussing.

It seems clear to me that if (the hypothesis) FlexCar convinces a family to have one less car, then FlexCar has probably reduced the number of trips to some degree.

least 5 households that have given up their primary and/or secondary car

Who cares? Do they drive less because of it?

FlexCar has probably reduced the number of trips to some degree.

Pretty sketchy public benefit.

Still waiting to hear how much those signs cost the taxpayers...

Jack, I already answered that: $0. Flexcar provides the poles and reimburses the City to install them.

C'mon Jack.
You said:
"'If 10 people share the use of a FlexCar during the day, then those people will (conceivably) not be driving their cars downtown for their commute. The city thus has 10 fewer cars polluting the air and impacting the road surfaces, meaning less maintenance.'

You're kidding. They'll all commute in and out of downtown at the same time. They'd need 10 Flexcars to get them all to work at 8:15 and home at 5:00."

I swear you must have said that just to be argumentative, because the totally obvious response is that you don't need a car to get downtown for work.
Those 10 people could easily have ridden into town on Max or a bus, knowing that any errands they have to run, or places they have to go for short periods during the day, can be done with a FlexCar.

Somebody at Flexcar told a reader here something different this morning. Also, there's a $60,000 figure floating around elsewhere on the 'net. Would be nice to know for sure.

I was responding to someone who wrote this:

If 10 people share the use of a FlexCar during the day, then those people will (conceivably) not be driving their cars downtown for their commute.

I agree, it's a ridiculous argument. Which is all it takes in Portland to get the tax dollars flowing...

The $60K figure is a rough estimate of the cost to Flexcar if they were billed for the "forgone revenue" at the spaces they occupy that would otherwise be metered.

From the City web site on the project:

http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=34776

PDOT's evaluation of the pilot program shows that the foregone meter revenue and administrative costs associated with Flexcar's reserved on-street spaces was approximately $60,000 in 2005. Currently, PDOT charges Flexcar a fee that covers the City's administrative costs, but does not recover the cost of foregone meter revenue for Flexcar's reserved metered spaces.

I believe "cover[ing] the City's administrative costs" includes the poles.

I can't believe the city could buy and install several dozen of those poles for $60K. Maybe Flexcar buys them, and the city installs them?

Jack, I already answered that: $0. Flexcar provides the poles and reimburses the City to install them.

Administrative costs for installing a reserved carsharing space are approximately $264, and include the cost of parking control technician time as well as crew costs for signs and markings.

$264 x 72 Spaces (34 metered, 38 unmetered) = $19,008. To be clear, Flexcar writes the city a check for $19,008? Or is that money the city is out in administrative costs in addition to the $569+/- (which seems AWFUL light) for each space?

Chris Snethen: per your post, only 34 spaces are metered, so that's actually $1205 meter revenue per space.

(Which still seems incredibly light... that's only about $4 per meter per day that the meters are in operation (figuring about 300 meter days per year)

Actually, your figures also assume that all 72 of those spaces were installed in 2005, which obviously isn't true.

But let's be really liberal for a minute and assume that all $60,000 was lost meter revenue. On 34 spaces, that's $1764/meter, which is about $5.88/meter day.

It gets complicated, though. $5.88 seems like a lowball estimate for downtown, even at the old $1/hour rates (and 10 hours a day). At the new $1.25/hour + 11 hour meters (which started on July 1st), it's less than half of the potential revenue.

But some of those spaces were also in the Lloyd area, where rates are cheaper. Does anyone know what those meters go for and if their rates went up on July 1st, too?

Yeah, I was spreading it over all spaces. The city gets about $10.8 million from its 7,000 metered spaces. That works out to about $5.14/day based on 300 metered days. Figure a little over $.50/hour over 10 metered hours. That sounds about right.

But see NOW the math really gets out of whack. $1542/space per year x 34 metered spaces equals (drum roll) $52,428 in lost meter revenue. What did I miss now?

Too much math... Head starting to hurt... Never liked story problems...

Okay, so $52,428 in lost meter revenue plus administrative fees for installing 29 spaces in 2005 = $60084.

29 spaces seems believable for 2005?

(one term left until I graduate with a BS in math!)

Okay, so $52,428 in lost meter revenue plus administrative fees for installing 29 spaces in 2005 = $60084.

Deal. Can I be excused from the chalkboard now?

Try hiding a Rose Festival medallion on one of these babies. G'head. Betcha can't.

Geez, I go to the library for an hour and you guys get wild with the calculators!

I found the specific language about the poles in the existing policy:

If a car share organization provides a City approved "Options Zone" bike rack for a designated car share space, the cost of the bike rack (up to $200 per rack) less the cost of installation ($40 per rack) will be credited against the fee assessed for the car share space.

So I stand corrected, apparently the City "buys" the poles (bike racks) from Flexcar as a credit (up to $160 adjusted for installation costs) against the administrative fee.

From information posting in the link on the second comment:

"Based on average daily meter revenue for March 2006, the highest annual permit fee for existing metered Flexcar spaces would be $3046 ($2782 + $264) and the lowest fee would be $435 ($171 + $264). Phased in over two years, the total permit cost for Flexcar’s existing 34 metered and 38 unmetered spaces would be approximately $35,00 (50% of full costs) in the first year, and approximately $70,000 (100% of full costs) in the second year."

So it sounds like the city is going to try and get most of the parking revenue back.

the fee assessed for the car share space.

How much is that?

Chris: Does it say if they get that discount every year, or just in the year that the approved "Options Zone" bike rack is installed?

Where I work FlexCar was promoted heavily, and I know that FlexCar was very disappointed at the very poor sign-up rate even with the heavily discounted rates. (Even though a lot of people go for the discounted yearly TriMet bus pass.)

Here's the whole section on fees in the current policy, which is an appendix to the evaluation report, which can be found at http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=116061 (a 72K PDF).

I believe the credit is only at the time of installation of the rack/pole.

FEES A. For any new car share spaces designated after approval of the pilot program, whether metered, non-metered or City owned off-street spaces, an installation fee will be assessed based on the most recent cost of service study. The installation fee will not exceed $100 per car share space. B. If a car share organization provides a City approved “Options Zone” bike rack for a designated car share space, the cost of the bike rack (up to $200 per rack) less the cost of installation ($40 per rack) will be credited against the fee assessed for the car share space. C. The pilot program is based on the assumption that participating car share organizations are not yet economically viable and are in need of discounted car share spaces in the public right of way. A car share organization with designated car share spaces shall notify the City immediately if the organization becomes profitable. Upon such notice of profitability, the City may adjust the fee structure for designated car share spaces to reflect full cost of service and full meter revenue recovery.

If FlexCar won't admit to paying for the poles, then take a look at Sammy the Trammy's 2% for Art program. That looks like the kind of plop art they would fund.

I haven't owned a car in 4 years (can't afford one anymore). I don't know what I'd do without my flexcar membership. I take the bus as much as I can, and ride my bike if it's doable for me. But hey, sometimes I just need a car. Or a truck to haul something.

Quite franky, I'm much angrier about tax abatements to rich condo dwellers than the cost of the poles. There are plenty of examples of corruption to be upset about these days in Portland. So don't be dissing flexcar, please.

P.S. Mister T- I was thinking myself that they look alot like the 2% crap often found around Portland!

I dunno. This looks overall like a scheme to get people into cars cheaply, people who'd normally be riding the bus or MAX because they can't afford car ownership. That being the case, it doesn't cut gas consumption, it doersn't cut pollution, and it doesn't reduce traffic congestion. And why city government is in any way subsidizing it, if it is, is equally dubious. But if you take the idea and package it as a warm and fuzzy collectivist idea, it has a certain appeal to certain local pols.

As Portland's unofficial arbiter of public art I unofficially proclaim these swizzle sticks to be SIGNAGE, NOT ART.

C

PS I refuse to do arithmetic.

When I owned a car I used it FAR more frequently than I use a flexcar. Now I have to consider car usage very carefully since I'm in essence renting a car and I'm very poor. Used to be, I jumped in my car and drove just about everywhere. Now I ride the bus, walk or ride my bike unless I need to haul some heavy stuff, or move furniture, or go somewhere unreachable by Tri-Met.

If I am remembering correctly, Flexcar is also subsidized with State tax credits under the Energy Program to the tune of $5000. I need to verify this.

I've got nothing against Flexcar or its users, but it's a private company controlled by a super-rich CEO type. In a city that charges you $36,000 to move your pizza parlor across the street, Flexcar should be paying its fair share. And I doubt that it is.

I'm with Lily - don't be dissing my Flexcar!

The reality is that, as an intermittent Flexcar user, I'm more likely to patronize other PDX businesses outside my own neighborhood as a result. I'll do my grocery shopping locally (instead of paying Safeway for home delivery), for example.

And yes - I did the math. Instead of owning a car 24/7 (and thus driving it to/from work every day), I have a bus pass. I walk. And then I bundle my driving trips together into an all-day weekend Flexcar trip, using a car that's gas-efficient and much less obnoxious to the environment emissions-wise than the beater I'd be forced to drive otherwise.

Finally, I also use that car at 21st and Weidler quite often. I'm the one who keeps programming the radio so that stations move along in sequential order - only to have it undone next time I'm in the car. But that black underwear? Isn't mine...

Believe me, I understand the urge to look under every nook and cranny for monies the city shouldn't be spending. But in this case, I believe it's money well spent. And I'd be saying the same thing if I still owned my own car.

I've got nothing against Flexcar or its users, but it's a private company controlled by a super-rich CEO type. In a city that charges you $36,000 to move your pizza parlor across the street, Flexcar should be paying its fair share. And I doubt that it is.
I whole-heartedly agree with those sentiments, but I also get a Three Card Monte vibe from it. The concept is sold as green and environmentally friendly, an anti-auto alternative, and it is this appeal that elicits the goodies from the city, when the truth is that, bottom line, it's not necessarily any of that.

Also, those parking spaces with the arty signage should be available for use by any competitors of Flexcar, under the same terms. Would they be?

Parking permit machines should have a moped option at one quarter the price, provided that the user park in the auto spot so as to accommodate at least 4 mopeds.

As to other matters:

How many yellow mopeds and yellow bikes could you cram into a FlexCar spot that is replaced with a FlexPed spot?

I could become a paid Stennie staff member by running a private moped rental/FlexPed thing. It would be "Economic Development" too for the city (or Tommy) to commit to say a hundred memberships. With cost savings from reductions in the city's participation in FlexCar.

And best of all . . . the higher the parking meter rates the lower the break-even point for FlexPed over FlexCar. Each FlexPed moped could be equipped with a WiFi beacon, visible to our wireless cloud, and noted on a web page. Twenty FlexPed mopeds to one FlexCar car? Maximize "flexibility."

I thought Flexcar was all about available parking. You can't promote condo towers and high density living in SoWhat, NW, and the Pearl if no one can find a parking spot. Are developers creating two new parking spaces per new condo? When they build those rail thin craftsman style row houses that developers love to build, they take away street parking from those areas too because the number of driveways just doubled (tripled, etc.) so Flexcar has a number of cars available out into NE and SE Portland too.

It's quite possibly true both that A) FlexCar has actual macro-level public policy benefits, when properly measured; and that B) it uses subsidies unfairly. (Because, frankly, who wouldn't, if given the option?)

It seems like this discussion could benefit from data. Fortunately, relevant data exist, and we need not speculate wildly or yell at each other.

For all the people (pro- or con-) who are interested in benefits, costs, how are they measured, etc., they are discussed in the Federal Transit study that Chris linked to near the top of comments. The executive summary's only a couple pages, and interesting even if you're not a nerd like me.

Why stop at FlexCar?

Why don't they have FlexNanny to care from my child (at home) when he's sick? I don't need a nanny every week, more like every three weeks.

FlexLawnmower: to cut our grass.

FlexChef: to cook our dinner.

FlexProtester: to show up at weekday City Council meetings and testify how pissed off we are!

FlexDiscreetGirlfriend...and maybe we wouldn't go through Police Chiefs with such abandon....

Jack, how does this fit with the just-previous post wherein you complain about not getting to use the city-owned street parking in front of your neighborhood Subway shop for free? That's 170 square feet of precious urban land, right there. Free rider, you might say.

Perhaps your purchase of a 6-inch turkey and swiss provided large enough public policy benefits that the city should have subsidized your parking? Or maybe we should we be outraged that Subway doesn't pay the city an annual fee for use of that space by its customers?

I ran into local Flexcar General Manager Bill Scott this morning. He said that what happens in practice is that the City administrative cost for striping a space is about $40, while the pole costs about $200.

So Flexcar provides the pole, and takes that as a credit so they don't actually pay the City anything for striping the space. No cash changes hands and the City gets a $200 rack/pole for $40 worth of work.

"""No cash changes hands and the City gets a $200 rack/pole for $40 worth of work."""

Chris, that is bureau speak.

The city doesn't "get" the pole or need the pole.

The pole is put up for Flexcar.
The pole is used by Flexcar.
The pole is for Flexcar.
Who also gets the free parking space.

The city gets nothing for the $40 or for the parking space they give away.

Flexcar may be a push for public benefit and not worth much chin rubbing over but let's not get goo gah gah that the City gets a "$200 pole for $40 bucks".

Well stated Steve. Sounds like "bureau speak" we hear all the time about North Macadam, and its "no budget-budget".

I ran into local Flexcar General Manager Bill Scott this morning. He said that what happens in practice is...

Chris, that's about the third version of this setup that you've posted here. Plus, there's the vagueness about the "guidelines for the future" as opposed to whatever dealings have already gone on.

The whole Flexcar thing smells a little funny to me. Almost like Goldschmidt Imeson Carter funny.

Jack,

That is indeed the third version of the situation I've related here.

First: what I remembered from past conversations with the folks involved.

Second: what the documents say.

Third: a direct conversation with one of the parties.

Which proves only that I'm willing to correct myself as I get a better handle on the facts.

I'm not hiding my point of view: I think there is a large community benefit from Flexcar and the City should not rush to impose fees on it while it is trying to get to profitability. You're welcome to disagree.

We have a "slippery road" here. There are many "private enterprize" endeavors that benefit the public in general. Should we "subsidize" each of these endeavors , like flexcar, so that we can be fair to all? We are getting to be a "city of subsidy".

I'm talking to myself. "City of Subsidy" is spelled "City of Sub-city"

I'm surprised at the hostility to Flexcar -- Jack says: "The public policy issue should not be the existence of the cars, but rather the trips taken."

Each car = several thousand pounds of metals and gooey contaminants. Flexcar fills the gaps in public transit (like when you need to do a big grocery trip or pick up big packages off a bus line) and let people actually live without owning a second (or first) car. A car-less or single car family will use transit more often, use fewer parking places, not leave thousands of pounds of metal and such in a landfill some day and generally provide lots of benefits that I would expect Jack to support.

But if Steve Case profits, it's suddenly bad? And the city shouldn't help encourage sustainable businesses that provide these benefits? I'm clearly not understanding something here.

Sorry, still not buying. A car is a car is a car, and is driven until it's in the ground. Families who use Flexcar won't have their own cars, but they'll have a piece of a Flexcar, and Flexcars will wear out in a much shorter time than a family car because it's in more constant use. Is that he benefit -- a landfill thing? If so, it's a pretty weak benefit.

Drew: it is not that one is begrudging someone making a profit, but in the flexcar case there are public subsidies that make for increased profits. Also, if it is a good idea, and economically sound, it should prosper by itself. And then there is the issue of unfair competition to now or future similar businesses that are not receiving the same subsidies.

We have too many slanted playing fields. And those on the lower end have to pay taxes for others higher in the "gimmie" world. This has little to do with "the public good" when the over-taxed are barely surviving or leaving.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, 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
Gascón, 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
Marchigüe, 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

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 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: 96
At this date last year: 144
Total run 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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