This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 13, 2007 10:36 AM. The previous post in this blog was Fireman Randy on the human field goal. The next post in this blog is Gotchies. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Enjoy the Tostitos Wildwood Trail

Just when I start to think that the Portland parks "leadership" might not deserve all the cr*p I give them, they go ahead and confirm that they merit all that and more. Check out what they send out at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend! It's notice of a new "sponsorship" policy, whereby the city will give "recognition" to corporations who donate money, up to and including naming rights on features of the parks.

There's supposed to be a meeting on it on February 15, and thereafter there'll be precious little discussion before public comments close on February 23.

It's curious that this extensive policy was in the works long before the recent personnel changes that included naming a new "business development manager." Observers of the parks scene swear that he's a great guy, but it's obvious that he'll be implementing a program that's been handed down by Zari and Grimwad. This one's straight out of the latter's playbook -- he who in his last job leased some of his Aussie parks to McDonald's and Fox Studios.

Just to make sure that the cutesy little timing ploy doesn't get them anywhere, remind me to post again about this first thing Tuesday morning.

Comments (21)

This is actually a good thing, Jack. They've been following the sponsorship policy as if it had been adopted. Now, thanks to the SW Neighborhoods Parks committee members pointing out that it has never been reviewed or approved, they are going to do the public process on it we requested.

The important thing is to encourage people to participate, since now we actually do have a say in whether this policy is what we want for sponsorship in/of parks, or not. But it's a case of "speak now or forever hold your peace", since there previously hadn't been any intent to discuss it with citizens at all.

And, as I noted in my comments under your personnel changes topic, it's the new guy who has opened the current, not-adopted policy to public review - as he said he would at that SW Parks Committee meeting just last week.

we actually do have a say

Define "say." You certainly will have the opportunity to talk yourself blue in the face about it. But will the Parks leadership listen with an open mind?


be thankful you get even a morsel, you ingrate.

If it wasn't for Amanda and those "activist types", who would protect us from our own ignorance - and our own city agencies?

I think the basic point is being missed, somehow.

since now we actually do have a say in whether this policy is what we want for sponsorship in/of parks, or not.

Do we really have a say?

I've read thorough the proposal and find nothing specific to object to, no big waving red flags, lots of safeguards. Frankly, it seems fairly well written, for what it is.

The problem for me is I don't thnk sponsorship is a good idea. I hate "PGE Park." These are public assets that belong to the people...Civic Stadium says something to me (as does, frankly, Civic Auditorium). Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall? Please...let's leave it at the Schnitzer Parking Lot, shall we?

It's like before Tri-Met accepted advertising, and we went from no advertising to now getting on a bus tarted out to look like a giant hot dog. Or banana. Or condom. Or whatever someone wants to pay for. When you do it for money there's a name for that.

Whatever happened to dignity? Let's stop taking the "Civic" out of civic assets and "public" out of Public Property.

The companies go for this because they can't buy that kind of advertising anywhere else for the price. It isn't that they offer their sponsorship out of a sense of civic pride and duty, and then are honored for the gesture with naming. It is a transaction, and a heck of a good deal (for the company) at that.

Oh, but I guess that those who tell us that corporations shouldn't be taxed because they will simply charge their customers more to cover it will tell us that we all benefit when a corporation saves money in its effort to get us to buy more of whatever.

Frank, I sorta agree with you, but couldn't we grandfather {grandmother?) in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall? It's just so fun to call it the Schnitz!
For example:

We're going to the Scnitz tonight.
Meet me by the Schnitz.
The Heathman is next to the Schnitz.

Whatever happened to dignity?

Please, oh please, don't open THAT box.

You may hate banana buses but I hate higher taxes for things I don't use. You could first eliminate all "undignified" advertising with Tri-Met and other public (or quasimodo-public) entities, then government could take over all private business and then.....

If the mass transit system was privately owned would the advertising be OK? Does the source of your pain have its roots in the besmirching of government-run enterprises? Do others care? Perhaps a pared-down government able to provide basic services wouldn't NEED to solicit sponsorships.

Maybe THAT'S the problem.

Maybe we should start taking the "Civic" out of civic assets and "public" out of Public Property.

Dignity is far too subjective a concept for either of us to dictate.

PS, I love it when you use the term "frankly".

Couple years ago, Tim Boyle and Columbia Sportswear pledged $1 million over ten years for the upkeep of Sellwood Park. Think they get retro-active naming rights? Occasionally corporations do the right thing for the right reason, and they deserve the good press and other recognition they get. But naming . . . I'm glad the policy sounds balanced.

Civic stadium is still that to me (are they breaking even there yet?).

Does the source of your pain have its roots in the besmirching of government-run enterprises?...

Nah, it's the visual noise. The constant barrage of advertising. Trapped on a bus with stuff shoved down my throat. Tri-Met even allows advertising on the ceiling. Sometimes you can't see through a windonw because there's an oversized cut-out of a news "personality" looming on the side.

It's a bus, not a moving advertising billboard, though god knows those are showing up in Portland too.

The Schnitz? I was a volunteer for ten years at the Performing Arts Center --which includes the Schnitz-- and we were supposed to be careful to call it the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Nobody ever did...there's just something so much more friendly about "The "Schnitz" I don't find it disrespectful.

Of course there's going to be a problem when the Schnitzer Campus of OSHU opens up in South Waterfront. What then? "I got stitched at the Schnitz?"

Hey... This kind of stuff has been around a while. Take a look at the basketball courts in, say, Powell Park. Nice new surfaces on outdoor basketball courts. Nike logos dead center in every one.

That's just plain public spiritedness, don't you think?

I'm with Frank on this. There should be adequate public funding for maintenance, rather than pimping out our parks to corporate types.

And rr...In case you hadn't noticed it, the solar system orbits the sun, not you. You use public assets and services that I don't and others don't. You don't get to unilaterally pick what gets public funding and what doesn't.

(That's what Zari does.)

You don't get to unilaterally pick what gets public funding and what doesn't.

I'm painfully aware of that, thanks. The "tyranny of the majority" still directs my tax dollars. But a guy can wish - and bitch - can't he?

My point was that perhaps some of these "public enterprises" ought to be in the private sphere. There, I am (with your permission, of course) free to decide where to spend my money. It's all about choice, isn't it?

And technically, the solar system includes the sun (and you and me), and orbits the galactic core.

Which is located at 1221 SW 4th Avenue.

It's still better than the tyranny of the minority, or, in your postulated case, the dictatorship of rr.

godfry, if it makes your poodle bark, you can draw whatever conclusions you like.


I didn't postulate anything. I expressed my dislike for what I consider to be wasteful things paid for by government and light-heartedly made some rhetorical statements in response to Frank Dufay's comment. In other words, I expressed my opinion.

That's OK, isn't it? Unless you're not the guy who's been posting here longer than I, you've not been shy about expressing your opinions. You've certainly gotten in your licks when it comes to complaining about things and judging others. If you find that same sort of expression, when done by others, threatening, then you have, as they say, issues.

As for the "tyranny of the minority", I'm amused that you apparently don't see the inherent irony.

I must say, however, that I do like the sound of the "Dictatorship of RR"

You'd never have to worry about me having my hand in your pocket (figuratively, of course) to finance oh, say, a streetcar, or a tram or a dignity village, etc. Oh no.

Mine would be a benign dictatorship.

...at least that's how it would start.

You're safe...

...for now.

Names matter. This is continued cr___p. PGE park is cr___p too. The continual erosion of anything real adds up. If the corporations really support these things, let them support them but not insist on naming rights. That would be GENUINE support. Something done just for corporate image will carry its own karma eventually----and the more we allow it the more the word environment (and hence some of our mentality) will be eroded. If we do anything in recognition of corporate prices paid, we should start another tradition of somehow keeping histories and publicizing who supported what, rather than compromising names.

As if our city, country and world at large wasn't already homogenized enough. Now I have to think about Starbucks, Kinkos and McDonalds while I play basketball too?!!!

At the link below (and the in the initial Jack post), you will find a comment link. Please make good use of this. Send a few per day, if need be.

Now I have to think about Starbucks, Kinkos and McDonalds while I play basketball too?!!!

I hear the NBA's changing the name from "basketball" to "BurgerKingball."

From this morning's NY Times:

Add this to the endangered list: blank spaces...Supermarket eggs have been stamped with the names of CBS television shows. Subway turnstiles bear messages from Geico auto insurance. Chinese food cartons promote Continental Airways. US Airways is selling ads on motion sickness bags. And the trays used in airport security lines have been hawking Rolodexes.

Please, please don't tell Tri-Met about this one:

“Got Milk?” billboards started emitting the odor of chocolate chip cookies at San Francisco bus stops...

I wistfully mourn the 7up sign at 37th & Sandy. Does that mean I'm part of the problem?

Any change is hard to accept - admit it. The older you are, the harder it is.

That and the fact that money makes this world go round. The blatant reminders of that fact in the form of ubiquitous advertising are enough to make all the aging ex-hippies and young wannabe's tear out their hair.

Which, in the case of the former, may be impossible.

I wistfully mourn the 7up sign at 37th & Sandy. Does that mean I'm part of the problem?

One iconic sign's loss is one thing. If you wanted to see, as replacement, a dozen NEW such signs...that would be an issue, eh? (And hey, we've still got our revolving Frantz bread and Sunshine Milk carton.)

Not everybody is like us, though. The suburbs around Paris --in my opinion the most beautiful city in the world-- have horrendous neon signs on TOP of most office buildings. Paris proper, no way.

I was in China during the Cultural Revolution and there was NO commercial advertising. There was instead, of course, murals and banners and the ubiquitous Mao portraits creating a very surreal --and very spooky-- environment.
(Not at all what China looks like these days, it appears, though I've not been back.)

But the question is: what DO we want our public Parks to look like? To what extent do we "sell" off their assets, like naming rights, or shove their corporate logos down our kids throats? I'm just sorta sick of the constant barrage of advertising in the public commons.

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall --like PGE Park-- wasn't re-done with their money, but our money. They bought naming rights, is all...and I remember the Schnizter donation contracturally contingent on them getting certain tax breaks.

Want to build a stadium and name it after yourself? Fine. Want to build a stadium with public money, but name it after yourself? Let's not sell ourselves, our public contributions, and our integrity so cheaply.

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