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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 22, 2007 10:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Silence is approval. The next post in this blog is Crimestoppers bulletin. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Charter change is DOA

Master political puppeteer Mark Wiener and the public employee unions are reportedly lining up against Portland Mayor Tom Potter's proposed change to eliminate the city's commission form of government. And with Opie delivering the Bus kids' no votes, that's pretty much all she wrote. It's checkmate on Grampy. The mayor and the Arlington Club set haven't got a snowball's chance of getting the "strong mayor" proposal passed by the voters.

If somebody gets back to the fine idea of electing City Council members by district, wake me up. Otherwise, I'll leave this one to wonkier among us to debate. Because it's over already.

Comments (52)

The Charter Review Commission saw this change as the necessary precursor to districts, as does Saltzman. Without this passing, districts won't happen either until and unless someone pushes the strong mayor change all over again.

Keep in mind, though, that the Mayor pushed FOUR proposals onto the ballot. I agree with you that the Form of Government (FOG) measure is likely heading for defeat. But the other three could survive:

PDC. In principle I support the idea of bringing PDC more directly under City Council control. But given the way this has also been rammed through, I can't say I'm confident that they got all the details right.

New Permanent Charter Review Commission. This appointed commission will have the power to send charter changes directly to the voters. Bad idea.

Civil Service Reform. This one is misnamed, and should read "Government Cronyism and Corruption Act." Instead of the current system, where people compete for top bureau management jobs based on merit, this would allow the Mayor (or the Council, if the FOG doesn't pass) to appoint political allies into six-figure city jobs. They can already do this with bureau directors, but that's probably okay because those appointments get a lot of scrutiny. When it's applied many layers down in the bureau, it is much easier to hide the cronyism and nepotism that almost certainly will occur.

Charter Review Commission’s recommendation has been inappropriately dubbed “Strong Mayor.” A strong mayor form of government gives the mayor the power to veto the council. In this recommended form of government, the mayor has only one vote that is equal to each individual council member, just as he does now.

The big difference is that a person who is a trained administrator/manager takes on the administrative roles, instead of leaving it up to people who have no experience at managing. This administrator is appointed by and accountable to the mayor. This appointment, however, is subject to approval by the council.

As it stands, we have professional politicians playing managers. Each of them has their own political agenda and career, so they are free to use their bureaus as their toys and tools to further their own priorities. They often meddle in the hard work of the experts that have been hired to manage these bureaus. There is little or no accountability to a greater city vision and there is little or no coordination across bureaus.

It would be interesting to hear from the managers of the bureaus on this issue, because their productivity can be negatively impacted by a commissioner’s micro-management. But, we won’t be hearing that publicly because of the fear of retribution. But, if you have friends who are managers for the City, who will speak to you off the record, you are likely to get an earful. (This is where increased efficiencies come in…let those paid and trained to manage do their jobs!)

When the charter was originally written, each council member was an elected expert in his field. That is why you will find the different titles that are on each council member’s door to this very day. These titles no longer align with the assigned responsibilities of each commissioner, and there is no longer any requirement for expertise in this field or any other management area, for that matter. Our politicians are elected because of their ideas, charisma, money, and name and face recognition (not necessarily in that order).

Another bit of misinformation is the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” farce. It is broken. The current system is cumbersome and complicated because of all of the “fixes” that have been cobbled together so that the council can work around its own charter. I believe a good analogy is this: We are doing long division, while there is a calculator on the table. One example is, again, the irrelevant titles on the commissioners’ doors.

What the Charter Review Commission has suggested, in essence, is to clear the table and use the calculator.

I’ve got more, but I think that’s enough for now. I hope you will seriously consider my comments as you discuss this topic.

A strong mayor form of government gives the mayor the power to veto the council. In this recommended form of government, the mayor has only one vote that is equal to each individual council member, just as he does now.

Quite right. This proposal is worse because is moves a large amount of power into an executive branch headed by the mayor and gives him one-fifth of the legislative branch. That's like electing only 80 U.S. Senators and giving the President 20 votes.

Another bit of misinformation is the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” farce. It is broken.

Y'all keep making that statement and then fail to show the evidence for it. Simply repeating the statement doesn't make it so, and the burden of proof is on those who want change.

Like the math teachers say: Show your work.

P.o.P wrote:

As it stands, we have professional politicians playing managers. Each of them has their own political agenda and career, so they are free to use their bureaus as their toys and tools to further their own priorities. . . . The big difference is that a person who is a trained administrator/manager takes on the administrative roles, instead of leaving it up to people who have no experience at managing.

Representative democracy is all about elected officials managing the government. That's what the executive branch does, whether it's the President, Governor, Mayor, or City Commissioners.

In Portland's system, there are five executives. You can argue that that's inefficient, but it's disingenuous to argue that the relationship between the politicians and the "professional managers" will be any different than it is now. Under the new system you'll still have a professional politician (the Mayor) playing manager of all City bureaus.

What you won't have is the same access to an elected official who can actually make a difference. Currently, if you have a problem with your water bill, you call Randy Leonard and either he or his staff will intervene immediately. Under the new system, do you really think the Mayor or his staff will have the time to do that? No, they'll send you to the CAO's office, who will refer you to the Water Bureau, and you'll be back to talking to the same people who started the problem to begin with.

Possibly more efficient for the government, certainly less responsive to you.

“Like the math teachers say: Show your work.”

Vera gave a good example at council when she talked about Portland losing Columbia Sportswear.

The lack of accountability in the tram cost fiasco. Everyone had their hands in it, but it’s no one’s fault.

The Water Bureau billing mess.

The latest snowstorm press conference. Media asked question about what's what and who is responsible. The answers had to be volleyed between Sam and Tom, because there wasn't one public figure in charge. Sam knew transportation; Tom knew enforcement. The media had no idea.

Part of the problem with “showing the work” (by the way, I liked that one) is (I hope) no one really wants to make this a blame game, and often a name goes with each specific instance.

One thing that I don’t think people are aware of is that since the hullabaloo when Francesconi meddled in Vera’s Police Bureau back in 2004, the rules have changed. The way I understand it, it used to be that you never “messed with” someone else’s bureau. But, after that earth shaking event, Saltzman successfully led an effort to grant commissioners the ability to interject. Since that time, Saltzman was able to bring forth the Police and Fire Disability and Retirement changes, even though in the old days (as designed by the charter) this was a no-no, and Leonard was able to bring forth the biodiesel effort for the City. With this charter change, there is the potential to open up the time, energy, and ideas for our commissioners to work for the betterment of our entire city, not just a piece of it.

That’s a start. I will try to come up with some more examples.

That's not showing the work. It's tossing out hot-button incidents without demonstrating how they are the fault of the form of government. The tram especially, since it was known early on -- from the architect herself -- that the original $15 million figure was unrealistic and "political". It's just that the city and the press ignored her, and that's something cities and the press does routinely under any form of government.

The billing mess has yet to be shown definitely be either side in this debate that it supports their position. As much as critics of commission form try to argue it shows its flaws, Sten argue the aftermath shows its strengths. It's sort of a tie right now.

And the last bit you mention is important (the change to City Code permitting commissioners to introduce legislation for bureaus they don't run) because in fact what it shows is that there are methods within the current commission form to get at many of the things people claim is wrong with it.

It's important to recall that this particular change was a matter of City Code, and not the Charter or form of government. It wasn't tinkering with the form of government to make that Code change. It simply was adjusting the City Code to make things more sensible. If we can make such changes and improvements without mucking with the Charter, then why jump to mucking with the Charter?

What you won't have is the same access to an elected official who can actually make a difference. Currently, if you have a problem with your water bill, you call Randy Leonard and either he or his staff will intervene immediately. Under the new system, do you really think the Mayor or his staff will have the time to do that? No, they'll send you to the CAO's office, who will refer you to the Water Bureau, and you'll be back to talking to the same people who started the problem to begin with

I don’t buy this argument. Yeah, if Randy is in charge of the bureau you are having difficulties, with maybe. Another commissioner, maybe not. Remember, it was Dan’s bureau that shut the water off. Also, I know someone who had a legitimate problem with one of Randy’s bureaus and got nowhere…when dealing with him directly.

AND, many citizens assume the mayor is in charge, so he gets hundreds of calls from citizens that need to be redirected. And sometimes, those call are about an issue where they haven’t gotten anywhere with the commissioner-in-charge, so they are working their way up what they believe is the chain of command.

I think this argument sounds good like the little old lady in the measure 37 ads, but I don’t buy it.

Out of curiosity, is "Portland over Politics" just your username, or is that a preview of what the pro-change campaign is going to be called?

b!X,
I am going back to the books to address your points better, plus I've got to get to my projects today. This blogging thing can become life consuming!

But, you bring up very good points, that I appreciate, and I believe they deserve and need a response. I DO want to continue this important conversation with you. This is the kind of conversation the City should be having.

Thank you.

Out of curiosity, is "Portland over Politics" just your username, or is that a preview of what the pro-change campaign is going to be called?

It's just me.

"Remember, it was Dan’s bureau that shut the water off."

Not true.

The bureau that shut off the woman's water (who, by the way had a disabled child at home and Portland was in the middle of a heat waver) was the "Utility Customers Service Section' that, at the time the water was turned off, was assigned to Mayor Tom Potter.

I can say with some assurance that if the water bureau were also under Mayor Potter at the time the water would have remained shut off...and only because the customer billing section (again, under the Mayor) did not take Visa.

Randy, are you taking a pot(ter) shot? If so, I expected better from you.

PoP say:

Part of the problem with “showing the work” (by the way, I liked that one) is (I hope) no one really wants to make this a blame game, and often a name goes with each specific instance.

and yet also say:

Also, I know someone who had a legitimate problem with one of Randy’s bureaus and got nowhere…when dealing with him directly.

That latter bit is irrelevant unless you provide the details and therefore an ability for other people to check it one way or the other.

b!X,
Your point is valid. I am asking "my person" to consider responding, since I have this thing about "naming names." I don't want to get anyone into any trouble. This gets really personal for some people.

Also, I know someone who had a legitimate problem with one of Randy’s bureaus and got nowhere…when dealing with him directly.

Intervention by the Commissioner-in-Charge doesn't always mean you get what you want. It does mean, however, that you get heard by someone who can make a difference -- if he sides with you. As an elected official, that's the power/authority that voters gave him.

In order to win the responsiveness argument, those in favor of charter change need to show that appealing to an unelected CAO is likely to have a better outcome than appealing directly to an elected official. I have yet to hear that argued persuasively.

Regarding the specific problems you cite (Columbia Sportswear, the Tram, and the water billing fiasco), there is no way of knowing if the outcomes would have been different. An involved Mayor might have caught them, a distracted Mayor probably wouldn't.

One thing is for sure, however -- the proposed civil service changes will create far more of these examples. Once all of upper-management is politically appointed, if the Mayor wants a $50 million tram, he'll get one. Who will have the guts to go public with the cost overruns when you can be fired without cause?

Maybe this has been addressed somewhere before, but I was wondering if under the Mayor's proposals whether the city council positions would become part-time positions with part-time pay, similar to state legislators?

The Charter Review Commission saw this change as the necessary precursor to districts, as does Saltzman.

The elimination of the commission and the switch to a ward system would have to be on a ballot together for me to support either one.

It would take a monster of a campaign to get the basic FOG changed. The thing they've got going now couldn't get much wimpier.

vThe thing they've got going now couldn't get much wimpier.

There was sentiment on the Review Commission for so-called "incremental" change, in part because Bob Ball's more comprehensive effort in 2002 failed so miserably. The thinking, I guess, was that Portland would swallow the pill more easily if it was fed to voters in small crushed up bits, one by one, over time.

Vera gave a good example at council when she talked about Portland losing Columbia Sportswear

Please explain what you mean by this, PoP. In my view, bureau staff did exactly what they should have done, in telling Columbia Sportswear that not even the Mayor (under the current or proposed system) has the power to override state land use laws. Are you saying that in the new form of government, you hope the Chief Administrative Officer will have the power to ignore the Zoning Code?

"Also, I know someone who had a legitimate problem with one of Randy’s bureaus and got nowhere…when dealing with him directly."

OK, I'm "person" PoP had in mind re: the issue with one of Randy's bureaus. It's a long and complicated story, one that I tried to tell during my 3 minutes at an August 2006 Council meeting, and, to his credit, Randy asked me to come and talk to him (not, by the way, his bureau anymore). We met for an hour with a department manager, argued back and forth, but finally got to some agreement on one item, and Randy asked the manager to look at how to fix the problem (re: the so-called business license fee aka income tax). And that was the end of it. Nothing since - nada.

I'm not really up on the proposals for Charter change, but I have to say that "it is broke - so we better fix it." Regarding the buiness income tax issue, when the changes proposed by Sam hit the media, I wrote a letter to Sam, the other commishes, and the Mayor reiterating my issue, the date of my testimony, and asking that my issue be considered in the biz tax re-do. No reply from anyone. I phoned and left a voice mail for the person in Sam's office who was leading the biz income tax item - no reply, nada. This is typical, in my experience - emailing or snail mailing to City hall is like sending a rocket into a black hole - nothing ever comes back.

So, will the proposed Charter change make a difference in a good way? For my small example, I got nowhere with the staff in the Bureau because, although they tended to agree with me, they were following the Code (bad code, btw). The Commissioners didn't really understand what my issue was/is because it's not something they have dealt with before, and they are not financial and tax experts. Would I have gotten a better response, and some action, from a professional administrator? Maybe. At least I would know where the buck stops, and there should be a more clear path for a citizen to follow when there's a problem.

The problem is a result of no separation of powers. They are both the executive and legislature. Thus, no commissioner ever criticizes the under-performance of any bureau of any other commissioner because they don't want it coming back at them. (Of course they don't criticize their own.)

When commissioners are independent of executive function, they are free to act as voters' representatives with legislative/budget authority and work to correct problems; at least the incentive would be gone that leads to covering-up each others' failures.

I had read that the debate was about a new flag, not a new form of government. Sten will win that one, too.

Amanda,
Come on now! I said nothing of the sort!

You were there. Remember the "Don't rewrite history" moment!

Vera said that she had no knowledge of the discussion until it was too late. She blamed the form of government. The current system has a way of keeping people in silos.

The proposed way of governing would change how the communication flows between bureaus, as well as between elected officials.

I have a basic understanding of Portland's governmental system, but one thing's always puzzled me:

why do our mayor and city council members compete against one another?

and, if the mayor and the city council members don't have the same vision and overall goals for the City of Portland--how in the heck can the city be governed well?

(no, i'm not for or against charter reform. i find both systems equally problematic.)


I'm not really up on the proposals for Charter change, but I have to say that "it is broke - so we better fix it."

That's really a distressing and nonsensical remark.

The problem is a result of no separation of powers.

Having the mayor be both a powerful executive and one-fifth of the legislative branch isn't a separation of powers either.

Karin-
I really am not trying to take "Pot(ter)" shots.

However, when Tom is asked "But how come you want to change Portland's form of government if it appears to be doing as well as it is" his standard answer is "the success of Portland is in spite of the city council...not because of the city council" I feel a need to make sure the actual record is made absolutely clear.

I will not say anything from now until the election in May that I do not believe to be true. However, I will also not let go unanswered assertions that I know not to be true or that are inacurrate or misleading.

Randy, you can take it easy. Once Vera said "I support charter change," it was dead.

why do our mayor and city council members compete against one another? and, if the mayor and the city council members don't have the same vision and overall goals for the City of Portland--how in the heck can the city be governed well?

Wouldn't having a separate mayor and Council be a competition? And what, exactly, would prevent bureau-less Council members from competing with one another?

And do you think that a separate mayor and council would somehow magically have the same goals and vision?

Randy,
Fair enough.
Thanks,
Karin

"b!X",

like I said, "strong" mayor, "weak" mayor--it's all the same to me.

Wouldn't having a separate mayor and Council be a competition?

I have no idea. it seems undesirable.

...And what, exactly, would prevent bureau-less Council members from competing with one another?

I wish I knew.

And do you think that a separate mayor and council would somehow magically have the same goals and vision?

No. but it seems significant that they don't (share general goals and an overall vision for the city.)

Eco: Ah, okay, so you're just being more generally observational. Sorry to let you know, but City Council voted 3-2 to not let us have that conversation and instead restrict us to "yes" or "no" on the Charter Review Commission's recommendation. ;)

If only we could come up with a "process" or "structure" that insured that we get responsible adults in elected office in the CoP.

Failing that, and my point is that's ridiculous, we get what we deserve. The notion that somehow the correct outcome of the "strong mayor/weak mayor" debate can have an ameliorative effect on a city government made up of dysfuntional individuals is absorbing but probably pointless.

It's like legislating intelligence and good judgement. It avoids the real problem; and that is that voters won't care until things get much worse than they are now. Not to pick on anyone, but the re-election of Sten is a stellar example.

Issues like those ably dissected above are simply too arcane to grab the voters' attention. What's called for is some good old rhetoric - if not demagoguery - to get them involved. The use of the art of public persuasion is sadly lacking in this city and would be the only effective method to drag voters into the discussion. I think Silence has a good starting point in his(?) comment above.

How many sigs does it take to recall a mayor? Can't believe Grampy has wasted two years on this cr*p.

What's called for is some good old rhetoric - if not demagoguery - to get them involved.

Potter's already been covering the bases on that bold part there. It hasn't been pretty.

If the Wienermobile is opposed to charter reform, then I'm for it.

"One thing is for sure, however -- the proposed civil service changes will create far more of these examples. Once all of upper-management is politically appointed, if the Mayor wants a $50 million tram, he'll get one. Who will have the guts to go public with the cost overruns when you can be fired without cause?"

Yeah? Well, it's working that way right now. The political appointees get the bureau heads, then they beginning reshuffling the staff to get what they want in the way of top managers. See the Portland Public Parks Bureau as a glaring example. What we have now is basically political appointees in the top two to three layers, only those under the director are protected by "civil service" once selected by the director to fill a top administrative position.

Still...I'm not sold on the whole charter reform business. I just keep thinking about what it might be like to have a mayor in power with whom I did not agree. I think that is a lot more likely than having at least one, if not two or more, commissioners with the power to accomplish something with whom I can feel comfortable making my concerns known.

Efficiency is not necessarily what we seek in a government. Mussolini got efficiency; despotisms are more efficient than democracies; the sheer efficiency of the crown in addressing dissenters was one reason this nation came into being and then proceeded to erect a system of governance that can only be called glacially inefficient and burdened with all sorts of mechanisms to slow down legislation and protract discussion.

I'd still rather have five possible contacts with leverage "at the top" than just one.


Anybody notice that the same three who voted to spend more city money on the tram are the same three who voted to put the Mayor in charge of everything?

Meanwhile, amusing to see that the treasurer of "Citizens" to Reform City Hall in reality is a Potter staffer taking a leave of absence. So, despite the "citizens" name, it's still Team Potter running the show.

The way the mayor has been acting lately, shouldn't his nickname be changed from Grampy to Grumpy?

As for charter reform, I'm not crazy about either our current form of government or the one the commission is proposing (so I'll end up voting for the evil I know). Are these the only two options? Isn't there some other way to run a city?

"I will not say anything from now until the election in May that I do not believe to be true."

So after the election, then what? Reversion to character?

A classic Freudian slip!

Having spent 27 years with the City, almost all that time in City Hall...there's problems with our system of government that need fixing. But there's also things that work well. What we need is an honest conversation and debate...but we've time for neither with this vote coming so soon. Unlike other of Mayor Potter's efforts, this one really lacks a foundation in grass-roots activism, or even input from line staff.

I'm a strong believer in a wall seperating elected officials from the bureacrats who should feel free to do their jobs free from overt political pressures. That's why we had civil service reform in the first place. Sure, we need to be accountable for doing our jobs responsibly and accountably...but when we're asked to do "special" favors or cut deals for people, or break the law, we should feel comfortable in saying we can't and won't do that.

I've been in mandatory supervisor/management training...and empowering employees has been one of the themes. But people in these classes are responding we don't feel safe ourselves in our current environment, let alone feel we can encourage our staffs to be innovative, ask hard questions, or challenge what we may see as unethical behaviors.

So, yeah, the Charter needs fixing. But these aren't the well thought-out repairs we need. And even if they were --and there are proposed changes I like-- there simply hasn't been the community --and employee-- input an effort like this requires to be comprehensive and successful.


Are these the only two options? Isn't there some other way to run a city?

Well, the National League of Cities lists (Google cache because NLC's website is having issues right now) four traditional forms: Mayor-Council, Council-manager, Commission, and Representative Town Meeting.

Generally, any discussion of form of government revolves around the first three, or variants within each. Technically, the proposal could be seen as a hybrid between the first two, since it has (sort of) an executive/legislative split but then also has a city manager (or, chief administrative officer).

There are also potential avenues for modifying/refining the commission form, but we didn't get to have that discussion.

Why do our mayor and city council members compete against one another?

Answer: Politics.

Why do our mayor and city council members compete against one another?

Answer: Politics.


as long as that grown-up equivalent of "my dog ate it" continues to be used as an excuse for not leading with real wisdom, vision and humility, we're all in serious trouble.

What in world are "Bus kids"??

Um, when in the history of democracy has competition proven itself to be a bad thing?

Competition is good, especially when it takes place in full view of the people who live in Portland. Then they can make up their own minds about which competing ideas they like best.

Portland's form of government automatically guarantees that the ideas that the commissioner and the mayor put out will have our attention. It's a lot better, in my mind, then having one person's ideas out there.

What in world are "Bus kids"??

As in the Bus Project.

OK, so I looked at the Bus Project link, and I'm still lost. Aside from the goofy verbiage there about stuff like PolitiCorps: Political boot camp for the college-and-recent grad-aged superhero., why is this considered fodder for ridicule?

Oh, forgot one thing about the "Bus kids". The original post referred to "Opie delivering the Bus kids' no votes." Couple of questions: first, what makes anyone think that Sten somehow "controls" a bloc of votes? Second, making the questionable assumption that he does, how is this better or worse that any other politician "controlling" a bloc of votes?

You need to pay closer attention to Portland politics.

lin quio, are you new to Portland?


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Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
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
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

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: 293
At this date last year: 145
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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