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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 15, 2007 5:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was No laugh track needed. The next post in this blog is Ouch. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Portlanders agree

[T]he tram / South Waterfront / North Macadam development (not to mention the Pearl, which seems to have become a verb, as in "to Pearlize") was a total waste of money.

Comments (46)

It's also a BIG waste of money for Potter to take taxpayers dollars, spending roughly $85 per person for only 15,000 "visioning" surveys (out of the 100,000 Potter asserted he'd get), with responses that are all over the map. What a scam.

Commissioner Randy got it right: it's just a feeble exercise for Potter to continue to fool the public into believing he's a "man of the people," when in fact he's on one big ego trip.

Don't agree with him? Better "Shut up."


Potter has identified VisionPDX as his second-most-important agenda item, behind changing Portland's commission form of government.

Probably changing to a dictatorship...

The more Fireman Randy speaks, the more I think he is packing a couple of basketballs. Considering the meekness of Grampy Potter, Excuse Moi Adams and Lemme Think About it Sten.

"Staffers in Potter's office warned that the draft is basically a "data dump" of information that has yet to be fully analyzed."

Which means that by the time the "final report" is done it will make the WMD information used to justify the Iraq War look like an open and honest report on the actual state of affairs at the time.

>>>"The information so far "is fairly raw," said Tom Miller, chief of staff to Commissioner Sam Adams, adding that his boss is reserving judgment. "He's waiting to see if the data can be translated into actionable items."

Sounds like a whole lotta "translating" busy work for hundreds of planners and public relations staffers.

In the end the "translation" will be something the Oregonian and city hall defenders will be echoing out on every blog.
Those in the poll should read the upcoming "translation" as the middle finger we all know it will be.

The entire two or three next episodes are entirely predictable.


I didn't see mention of another huge waste of money - the transit mall redesign, where we're spending money to demolish a perfectly working system to replace it with one that will be a nightmare of interweaving buses, rail and clueless car drivers.

How would you like public funds to be spent Jack?

Or are you just like those in congress railing against the war who don't have any ideas about what to do. It's easy to be a critic. How about contributing?

Another excerpt from the article linked in the original posting:

Portlanders are also uneasy with expensive condos "that get developers rich but do not fit the need of those looking for family housing" in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

OK, going to stick my nose in and wait for it to be whacked. Questions about these expensive condos: Who exactly is buying them?

Is it people swapping their houses here in the metro area for a condo close to downtown, for whatever reason? If so, then...well, what exactly is the problem? Aren't they allowed to decide they want a change of scenery?

Is it those damn Californians (nice, easy target) selling their suburban tract homes for a million dollars and moving here? If so, then...what exactly is the problem? Is the idea that we should require residency permits and permission from The Man to move?

Is it that "creative class" moving here from all over? If so, then...what exactly is the problem? Aren't they just relocating for job opportunities and because they like the lifestyle?

Expensive housing is indeed a problem. But is slamming condo builders and condo dwellers really legitimate criticism? Sorry, it feels to me more like resentment and scapegoating.

Oh, and please, before the comments start pouring in about the urban growth boundary, let's discuss ways to build "affordable housing" in the city.

Jack,

Out of curiosity, what is your take on the annonymous $40 million donation for OHSU development in S. Waterfornt?

about affordable housing:

in the Pearl (for example) stats show that a significant portion of those buying condos are, in fact, immigrants, mostly from the east coast (New England, New York) and west coast (California.) so--they're bringing cash, plopping it down and propping up the condo building efforts.

a surprising fact is that many are not coming for jobs or careers--they're coming to retire, or semi-retire.

the number of children living in the Pearl is very small. i think there are less than 40. i don't expect that figure to increase much.

the "creative class"--which is so ill-defined as to not be a useful label--is in fact not likely moving here. there's a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing around this topic. truth is, asking any Portland official for hard evidence about the creative class will get you a very uncomfortable silence and a lot of "um, well, er..."

is it fair to "slam" condo builders? why not? buildings have impacts. large buildings have enormous impacts that last for decades, possibly a century or two. those that build them and live in them are implicit in that impact, despite efforts to shift blame to the "free" market.

Ecohuman: in the Pearl (for example) stats show that a significant portion of those buying condos are, in fact, immigrants, mostly from the east coast (New England, New York) and west coast (California.) so--they're bringing cash, plopping it down and propping up the condo building efforts.

Well, you're certainly correct about folks "immigrating" here and buying condos, but the remark about "propping up the condo building efforts" is strange if you mean it as a criticism. Would you criticize supermarket shoppers for "propping up" Fred Meyer, for example? I fail to see how, in a for-profit system, buying a condo could not "prop up" the builders. If you want to criticize the for-profit system, then by all means do that instead of criticizing the buyers.

a surprising fact is that many are not coming for jobs or careers--they're coming to retire, or semi-retire...the number of children living in the Pearl is very small. i think there are less than 40. i don't expect that figure to increase much.

Well, these items are neither surprising not news. Folks with families in Portland generally do not want to live in condos. And the Pearl District (say) is pretty obviously not family friendly (a huge flaw IMHO).

You explicitly go on to slam people who live in condos for their "impact" on the urban environment. What's the point? Are you going to go on to condemn house buyers for driving up prices? Your remarks feel like resentment disguised as environmentally correct criticism.

I'm being deliberately provocative, in case that weren't obvious. I'm not rushing to sell my house and buy a condo.

I can see that Potter's VisioningQuest is already developing a lot of "SoWhatisms". When you have a small batch of citizen responses that are probably duplicates and more, plus from the same old crowd (like us bloggers, for one), you are going to get "SoWhats". Then the pols and media can spin it any which way they want. See Metro surveys for example.

Lin Qiao: I'm not necessarily opposed to "immigrants" coming to our city, but I do oppose "propping up" the condo mania with taxpayer subsidies that equate to over $200T per condo in the Pearl and even more in SoWhat. Like you infer, let the real "free market" work. Let the developers and the buyers of the condos pay fair market price. Then maybe so many wouldn't be coming.

This thinking seems to be what today's Oregonian article states is a big response in Potter's Visioning, as minute as it is.


In principle, I don't mind selling big bucks condos to out of towners who are retiring. Selling a small amount of land space to bring in lots of people with no kids should be a net plus. What I do mind is the subsidies; if they are getting $300 sq. ft., surely city condo tax abatements are not needed to encourage building them, and they don't do anything for affordable housing.

Spike, there are plenty of other places to spend the money, as Jack repeatedly points out: keeping police precincts open, providing services for people who live east of Mt. Tabor, sweeping up the leaves. This is a city that still has neighborhoods without sidewalks, and even unpaved roads.

there are plenty of other places to spend the money, as Jack repeatedly points out: keeping police precincts open, providing services for people who live east of Mt. Tabor, sweeping up the leaves. This is a city that still has neighborhoods without sidewalks, and even unpaved roads.

Yes, by all means! Isn't it ironic that the unlamented (especially here) Emilie Boyles claimed to be wanting to represent those folks without those services, sidewalks, and pavement? How do we get people into city government who will pursue these things?

This was just round one of visioning. The total tab by the time they're done will be one million.

Here's what will happen:

They will take these essay style responses and start crafting a questionnaire that will be in a "strongly agree, agree, disagree" type format. The questions will be choreographed in such a fashion as to result in answers that are consistent with the questioners' social views and agenda.

If you've ever attended a city budget forum or transportation forum you know what I'm talking about.

In the end, "visioning" will result in our spending a million bucks to come up with some sort of feel good plan for Portland's future that will tout diversity and sustainability and all the other PC buzzwords, but will actually have little or nothing to do with how people live, work and get around.

If you were doing a thirty year plan in 1970 would you have anticipated the internet? And if you didn't, how good would your plan be?

lin, speaking of "slamming":

"I'm being deliberately provocative, in case that weren't obvious."

it wasn't. why are you doing that?

about "slamming":

inhabitants share responsibility for the impact of what they live in. saying so isn't "slamming" them. human habitation has impact.

instead of writing an opposing opinion (no, i disagree and here's why) you wrote that i resent condo dwellers, that i am being "environmentally correct", that my criticism (and that of others) is mostly misguided and misplaced, etc.

now, back to Jack.


lin qiao Is it those damn Californians (nice, easy target) selling their suburban tract homes for a million dollars and moving here? If so, then...what exactly is the problem? Is the idea that we should require residency permits and permission from The Man to move?

Is it that "creative class" moving here from all over? If so, then...what exactly is the problem? Aren't they just relocating for job opportunities and because they like the lifestyle?

JK: The problem is the $200,000 per living unit that the taxpayers are shelling out for the SoWhat. (City admits to about 225mil and 5000 units, double that for interest on the bonds, double again for cost over-runs)

lin qiao Expensive housing is indeed a problem. But is slamming condo builders and condo dwellers really legitimate criticism? Sorry, it feels to me more like resentment and scapegoating.
JK: The resentment is over feeding taxpayer money, some extracted from low income people, to millionaire condos and politically connected builders.

lin qiao Oh, and please, before the comments start pouring in about the urban growth boundary, let's discuss ways to build "affordable housing" in the city.
JK: Two simple ways:
1. Repeal the law of supply and demand.
2. Affordable homes actually are being sold at home depot. They are usually in the parking lot near the garden section. See tuffshed.com/products_models.cfm?CategoryID=SB

Thanks
JK

David, you absolutely nailed it: ...."tout diversity and sustainability and all the other PC buzzwords, but will actually have little or nothing to do with how people live, work and get around.".... Please, run again....we'll get you elected. Somebody's gotta elucidate the outrage!

I guess Jim Karlock is trying to say that there is no way to build "affordable housing" in the city and that discarding the UGB is the only alternative. Otherwise... good gawd, I actually agree with him ;-) Aside from the TuffShed, that is.

Ecohuman, I wrote originally "OK, going to stick my nose in and wait for it to be whacked." What more would I have to do to clarify my intent to be provocative? Kind of part and parcel of the whole critical-thinking approach.

Dave Lister

Please stop with the common sense, it just doesn't work in Portland.

And PLEASE run again!!!!

"Let the developers and the buyers of the condos pay fair market price."

When we get down to one of the fundamental issues of PDX development, you find a layer of PDX and PDC bureaucrats who are willling to give away, to a few influencial developers, millions of dollars in tax subsidies and abatements, free or near free land and very liberal planning requirements that the normal developer or individual could only wish for.

If we stopped this outrageous giveaway of tax dollars, we WOULD HAVE the funds to improve our city in tangible ways that would impact nearly every PDX citizen - young and old. We would then take care of deferred maintenance on our infrastructure, have more money for mental health, and the list would go on.

Yes, Dave Lister nailed it. But what about all the other future planning reports on the shelves in City Hall?

Bet you Potter has not read a single one otherwise he'd know that for all the money he's wasting, a future mayor with leadership skills will no doubt toss his plan in the trash as it's based on a non-scientific survey that asked vague open-ended questions that are designed to generate PC responses.

I ask... since when is does a survey where less than .03 percent of the city's population responds and the questionnaires received do not come from a broad cross-section people have any real validity? You can't blame Sten and Adams for not wasting any time reading it.

Face it, VisionPDX is nothing but a feeble exercise by a man who wants to be remembered for more than marching in the gay parade or the $25 mayor.

The City Council should vote not to waste any more money on this boondoggle.

My property east of LaPine is looking better every day...

Dave,

re Potter, et alia...

You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.

Yogi Berra

Carol said:

"If we stopped this outrageous giveaway of tax dollars, we WOULD HAVE the funds to improve our city in tangible ways that would impact nearly every PDX citizen - young and old. We would then take care of deferred maintenance on our infrastructure, have more money for mental health, and the list would go on."

That IS the problem, Carol. Thank you for stating it so succinctly. That is the fundamental thing that I would want to try to change if I were ever fortunate enough to represent all of you downtown.

Shadow: "I ask... since when is does a survey where less than .03 percent of the city's population responds and the questionnaires received do not come from a broad cross-section people have any real validity?"

Take a look at Potter's Charter Review Commission, where 13 citizens (including two who had authored essentially the same change to Portland's form of government in failed ballot measures, Bob Ball and Paul Meyer) voted to support major changes to our city's "constitution," largely ingnoring input from other citizens and their elected officials.

It's easy to be a critic. How about contributing?

It's no secret how I would like public funds to be spent. Right now public safety, mental health, schools and parks are badly underfunded.

It was nice having you here, however briefly.

what is your take on the annonymous $40 million donation for OHSU development in S. Waterfornt?

It's wonderful. I suspect the timing of the announcement was carefully manipulated, as everything from Pill Hill is. And you wonder whether the amount is real or cooked, since every dollar figure emanating from OHSU has some element of a lie to it.

The biggest problem is that the city's taxpayers will wind up matching that $40 million with various infrastructure items and other frills in SoWhat.

Here's some real negativity,,,

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the $40 million is really a collection of obscured SoWa payments to OHSU by the city itself mixed with some of the proceeds from the Oregon Opportunity.

But in the form of an annonymous donation the real source is hidden and there can be no challenges to how it is then spent.

Of course everthing done in a legal way.

"It's easy to be a critic. How about contributing?"

Boy is that a worn out fall back line?
It's meant to start the entire circle debate all over again as if no one has offered alternatives to the boondoggles during all of the many prior discussions.

Anyone using that line needs to be slapped.
Figurativley speaking of course.

"Spike's" gone.

"...the draft is basically a "data dump" of information that has yet to be fully analyzed."

AKA - we will be spinning this the way we want it to read, please stand by ... oh, and hand us your wallet while you are waiting, thanks.

Mark, folks seem to have forgotten that there were 26 original members to the charter review committee. Eleven dropped off, many because they disagreed with the direction the group was taking... Potter's strong mayor format or nothing.

If you followed the committee meetings on TV, often there were less than 10 members at the table and some did not seem to be engaged in the discussions. It was a sham process from start to finish, which makes me wonder why the Oregonian editorial board could support it and keep reporting that the recommendation involved "26" citizens when that's not true.

How could the city council find any credibility in a committee decision when there was no clear majority. I'm still waiting for the Oregonian or Willamette Week to interview the 11 citizens who said "I quit" and here's why.

Hmm, at the risk of further threadjacking Jack's comments, and with apologies for doing so (and assurances that this will be the last time):

The final report for the review commission only lists 6 who dropped out (with 20 out of 26 remaining, 13 of whom voted to recommend changing form of government at their final vote -- I forget which meeting).

There was some talk by commissioners Sten and Leonard that some of those left in disgruntlement, which review commission chair David Wang denied. I would love to know more about that . . .

But I definitely agree the fix was in pretty early on, if not at the beginning.

"I'm still waiting for the Oregonian or Willamette Week to interview the 11 citizens who said "I quit" and here's why."

That's so funny you must be Bill McDonald.

They would be more likly to interview the ones who stayed to get the their take on why the others left.

Running a common sense moderate for the City Council is an exercise in futility, at least until there is an open seat. I like Dave Lister very much, but I don't think he stands a snowball's chance unless he calls a news conference to renounce the Republican Party and to say how much he regrets ever voting for Bush.

Leaving Portland/MultCo limits is the only solution: my house goes on the market March 25th. Those that remain in Portlandia are the oh-so-tolerant, progressively pious, and -- many of them --are dependent on government salaries or services.

The trust fund babies and the limousine liberals won't mind paying a disproportionately large tax burden, because it makes them feel a little less guilty about being so wealthy. Kind of like driving your Prius to the MAC, or taking MAX to the airport to fly to the Caymans. Don't worry about all that jet fuel DAHLING: you took public transit to the airport.

Is it any wonder the city is becoming more liberal? When there are so many other great places to live, and a simple move across the river makes all your investment income tax free!

... a simple move across the river makes all your investment income tax free

That would be state income tax, Mr. Tee. You still owe Federal taxes.

Dave Lister

I have to disgree with this. "strongly agree, agree, disagree"

It should read, strongly agree, agree or somewhat agree.

I strongly agree.

To add to Jack's post about "taxpayers will wind up matching that $40M" in OHSU's pocket, it has already started in the past two years in amendments to the SoWhat "gimmies".

In the recent Amendment 8 there is over $18 MILLION in three catagories that DIRECTLY benefit OHSU like the biotech enhancement fund, etc. Then add to this amount the recent $5 MILLION given to the OHSU Health Club for "biotech space enhancement". Not one biotech job, but the private doctors of OHSU got $5M and they pay not one dime in taxes! There are more 'gimmies" hidden. For example, the future OHSU parking garage on SW Moody was given over $3M of taxpayer money for air-rights to build future affordable housing on top. The $3M is highly inflated, especially considering the construction cost of building housing after the four story garage is built. We are not even talking about the recent editorials from the O calling for more taxpayer subsidies for OHSU on top of the $200 MILLION Oregon taxpayers gave OHSU a two years ago.

These facts need to challenged, investigated, and stopped. Dave, we need you. Will the Tribune or WW step forward? The O sold over a decade ago.

Howard, your "more likely to interview the ones that stayed to get their take on why the others left" is more gut-laughing than Bill McDonald. My heart can't take it. Good enough for Leno.

Mister Tee: what does "renouncing the Republican Party" and apologizing for voting for Bush have to do with helping to run this city? Lister has been forthright, knows the issues, and has given solutions. He would help represent the "other side" that hasn't been represented for over 30 years. He hasn't proposed running the country, but wants to fill a few potholes.

Yes, but that's not how you get elected in Portland. You make sure you feed the Bus kids lots of "progressive"-sounding stuff that's irrelevant to city government, and you make sure the public employee unions have you on speed-dial. Next thing you know, Mark Wiener is writing your campaign literature, and you're in.

Yeh, you're right Jack. I was being silly. I slipped into my 60's "rightous mode".

Jerry Mister Tee: what does "renouncing the Republican Party" and apologizing for voting for Bush have to do with helping to run this city?
JK: Many Portlanders hate the Rs social platform and refuse to vote for any R, even those Rs that also hate the Rs social platform.

Then you have to wait for an open seat because Portland’s city council has dictated the incumbent protection campaign finance act.

Thanks
JK

Jerry:

I've canvassed neighborhoods for Big Pipe and Nick Fish in past council elections, and I was surprised how many casual voters simply asked, "Is he a Democrat?"...As if that was the only identifying characteristic they needed to know.

And that's in a so-called "Non-Partisan" race. Republican political candidates rank slightly above accused rapists in Portland's moral equivalency hierarchy.

Because the accused rapist is innocent until proven guilty, and it may devolve into he said/she said. But the Republicans are presumed guilty, and probably beyond rehabilitation without a full exorcism or public testimonial.

"We are not even talking about the recent editorials from the O calling for more taxpayer subsidies for OHSU on top of the $200 MILLION Oregon taxpayers gave OHSU a two years ago." Also don't forget the hidden tax of having been allowed to butcher, maim and kill people with only a $200K tort cap limit to worry about.


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Conundrum 2012
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2007
Penelope Sanchez, Garnacha Syrah 2010
Canoe Ridge, Merlot 2007
Atalaya do Mar, Godello 2010
Vega Montan, Mencia
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2009

The Occasional Book

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: 111
At this date last year: 21
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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