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Friday, December 29, 2006

Big 'uns

Until an alert reader sent along this photo of the city truck that they had to pull out of the Buckman sinkhole, I had no idea how big that vehicle was. The darn thing was about 40 to 45 feet long! That's the rear end at the top, being extracted by a crane that you can barely make out, and the front of the truck is at pavement level, with a coil of hose on the very front of it.

That's one dang big truck, and as there was only around 10 feet of the truck sticking out of the crater, a dang big hole!

Comments (15)

I'm sure there's a metaphor here...




New linchpin: 2% for Sinkholes!

It was actually performance art, and I think that's only 1%. All seriousness aside, this photo is amazing, since the published ones earlier didn't reveal how much truck was swallowed up.


And what do you make of the theory that leakage from the Buckman Pool caused it?

Performance Art! In Portland that works. Perhaps the Cultural Trust will pick up the tab?

Oh yes, you will always want to avoid the drippings that come from those trucks.

I've always said Portland's potholes are big enough to park a VW in.

It appears I was too conservative: it actually swallowed 2/3 of a Peterbuilt.

It looks like a scene from a made-for-TV disaster film. Flip the channels to see a Chinook helocopter trying to shore up a sewage spill in Hillsboro. Nothing to see here, kids...Keep the line moving...Our maintenance budgets are tight, but were doing the best we can. It probably wasn't a leaky water or sewer pipe...I'll bet it was those damned neighborhood kids and their super-soakers, or maybe just an Act of God. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Happens all the time. But we may have to increase water/sewer rates to make these Acts of God go away. Did I mention were running 99% biodiesel in ALL our trucks?

War on sink holes? No trucks were lost when Clinton tossed.

Has anyone in any sort of official position mentioned the Buckman leakage as a potential cause? I only saw it mentioned on the news when the reporter said, "Neighbors say the sinkhole was caused..." Hardly an authoritative source. I'm not buying the Buckman pool as the cause. They were there anyway because of some sort of sewage blockage. Seems way more likely to me that a blockage could have caused a leak, which could have caused a sinkhole(stinkhole?)...

This link might give you some insight.

Note that the land was deemed worthless without supporting sewer infrastructure.


Can you say SoWhat Baby,

Portland has one of the highest sewer costs in the country while the Developers resell land to us at SoWhat at millions in profit.

Go Figure. Do the math.

Play the Patsy or grab a pitchfork.

the highest sewer costs, and sewer pipes that are up to 100 years old. you think the water/sewer bills are high now? you just wait until those hundreds of miles of street have to be torn up and the sewer and water lines replaced! wow!

Plus a billion+ dollar bond issue for the FPDR fund, the high cost of generous PERS/healthcare benefits for City employees/retirees, and the TIF tax revenue siphoned away from the general fund.

The eventual "deficits" will require a City of Portland income tax, a sales tax, or a real estate "transfer tax" (soak them again if they try to leave!). Not to mention escalating user fees and water/sewer rates (all the EPA's fault, no doubt).

Why would an untethered retiree choose to remain in Portland once the tax burden becomes even less favorable compared to Vancouver or Clackamas, Washington, or Columbia counties?

And with a shrinking jobs base, why would somebody other than a retiree try to make it here?

Chapter 9, here we come.

"...generous PERS/healthcare benefits for City employees/retirees..."

BTW, the healthcare benefits for COP retirees are self-paid by the retiree.

Any idea if the City's group health insurance policy offers more generous benefits or less expensive premiums than COBRA?

If so, then the taxpayer is likely paying the difference. The great irony is that many (if not most) of Portland's taxpayers will be underwriting the "guaranteed-for-life" pensions of government employees WHILE THEY ARE NOT RECEIVING/EARNING SIMILAR BENEFITS THEMSELVES.

It reminds me of a feudal lord sending his lackeys around to collect 1/2 of all the farm production from "his" lands.

It is my understanding that PERS retirees, including the COP members, can continue to the same health coverage as they had before they retired, PROVIDED they pay its full (group rate) cost until Medicare kicks in. But, they cannot have a lapse in coverage. They must transition from employer-covered status to retiree-paid status without a break; otherwise they have to go for PERS' very expensive health care plan until they are Medicare eligible. This means that former COP employees who left money in PERS before actually retiring, cannot continue COP benefits other than the COBRA they were eligible for when they ceased their employment.

I don't think there is any taxpayer expense in providing health care benefits to PERS retirees. To the best of my knowledge, the only perk retirees get is the opportunity to continue at their current benefit level IF THEY PAY FOR IT IN FULL. (I'm sure there are some exceptions to this, but I'm nearly positive that this is the general rule).

A friend of mine was considering buying a house just two blocks away on 18th at Oak, but didn't do so because there was an underground stream passing through the property. If it runs on an East-West axis, then that sounds like a prime suspect to me. Pool leakage just can't be enough water to do that much erosion.

Also, our high sewer costs are exactly because "those hundreds of miles of street have to be torn up and the sewer and water lines replaced." That replacement process has been going on for years now. The sewer pipes are being replaced not just because they are old but because they were designed in such a way that the storm drains would mix with the sewage drains when we had heavy rain and would dump raw sewage into the river. Nasty.

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