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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 5, 2007 10:39 PM. The previous post in this blog was As high as you can get in Oregon (legally). The next post in this blog is Semper non sequitur. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, March 5, 2007

C'mon, Fireman Randy, save the planet

Here's a suggestion for Portland's green, sustainable City Council. Today we got something on our front porch that we didn't ask for and didn't want: a plastic bag containing two phone books from a phone company that we don't do business with. We already get two phone books every year from our evil phone company, Qwest, which we keep. But there seem to be three or four more that show up, unsolicited and useless, every year. Like today's two.

The latest load of dead trees and wasted ink went straight from the front porch to the curbside recycling bin, without ever entering the house. The plastic bag, we'll have to reuse or recycle at a local retail outlet.

But why is this happening? How many tons of solid waste are being created here, for no reason other than to sell advertising? Why are these folks allowed to squander natural resources, drop what amounts to litter on private property, and force residents to deal with it? At the very least, we should be able to opt out of receiving those books in the future. And the dumpors should be required to make it easy for us dumpees to say no -- on the internet, perhaps.

Wait -- now, don't tell me that all those campaign contributions that the phone companies make would actually influence city policy. Would they?

Gentlemen, when you're done busting my chops about having grass in my yard and owning a car, could you please do something about these guys? Thanks.

Comments (22)

It definitely seems like litter to me. I've been meaning to try and find out who/where I call to opt out.

Wait -- now, don't tell me that all those campaign contributions that the phone companies make would actually influence city policy. Would they?

But doesn't it seem a little mean to imply corruption when the honest truth is probably that no one thought of legislating it yet? Maybe I'm wrong, but I kinda doubt these stupid "fake yellow pages" companies really make a lot of city council donations... most of them aren't even phone companies, just marketers!

I'm all for the idea, but it just seems like you could've phrased it more as a suggestion and less of an attack. "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar," or whatever.

I believe the name Verizon was on the cover of the phone books I just tossed. And if you look around at the campaign finance reports, you'll see that name (and those of its competitors) on a lot of checks to politicians.

Their ugly antennas are everywhere, all permitted by the city. And we can't get a sensible ban on using handheld cell phones while driving passed in Salem, either. Let's call a spade a spade, shall we?


I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that you might suggest our City Commissioners can be bought for so cheap a price.

If you really want to get something done (or not done), a mere campaign contribution is not going to cut it. A standing job offer after you leave the council? A large donation to your favorite charity, quizas? A high paying job for a friend/family member who just needs to get their foot in the door? It's all on the up and up, right. If it was illegal, Hardy Myers and/or the FBI would be investigating? Those kinds of things happen in San Diego or Chicago, but not in pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow Portland.

Besides which, they ONLY TOOK DIRTY MONEY IN THE BAD OLD DAYS. Now it's all clean money, all the time. Corruption averted; incumbents retained. Vladimir prosecuted.

Not all power and influence is conveyed by check. Back to sleep, sheeples.

Finally ... someone else who's sick and tired of the never ending pile of phone books left on our porches. Make them stop -- make them stop. UGH.

maybe we could find an address, then everybody mail the books back (postage due) to the sender?

It's a little known fact that all city buildings are drop off points for unwanted phone books. Just set them inside the front door and someone will take care of it.

We shouldn't have opt out of these. We should have to opt in. They are litter and I have been complaining about it for years.

I'm so glad you said something about those phone books--I hate them! I thought it was just one of those things that drive me and only me insane. Junk mail, phone books, stuff I have to (pay to) recycle.

Dan Saltzman is the commissioner who should be doing something about this, as he's in charge of both Franchises and Sustainable Development. My suggestion is to pass an ordinance saying only the company serving a residence is allowed to leave unsolicited phone books. That way if a customer doesn't want them, they can call their own phone company and opt out.

I love the free market and the free market loves me. That is why, when I get an unwanted phone book, I leave it on the front stoop and immediately call the distributor to tell them to pick it up. Amazingly, this works most of the time.

There is the additional bonus that the more the distributor needs to pick up the more it costs to distribute, and the more unlikely they are to produce 500 different unwanted varieties of yellow page.

I say unwanted phone book recipients unite and dial the distributors.


isn't it odd that most humans don't want 90% of the junk foisted upon us, but government makes it very difficult not to receive it?

someday, i hope to have all the rights that corporations have, and similar influence with my local government.

Who's the distributor, and what's its phone number? I'm sure some publicity of that information could go a long way toward curbing this practice (no pun intended).

Phone books? Yeesh. People still use those things? I havent opened one of those in years. Not since Google anyway.
It amazes me where I work, with 'net access, some guy will run around the office for 20 minutes trying to find a friggin' phone book. And a lot of the older guys absolutely refuse to use the internet in its place.
Out of the stone age, folks!

Especially in a competitive theater, publications NEED to have high distribution to justify ad rates. Ad rates are usually based on verifiable circulation / distribution audits. People only buy ads knowing their info (might be, according to the audit) seen at some point by the masses during the next 24/7/365.

Whether you actually want those phone books is not their primary concern. It's all about the distribution numbers.

If you've ever tried to cancel the O that's in part why they keep sending you issues (free) via various specials and blitzes. Their circulation has been dropping 6% a year and it is hard for them to seal ad deals like they used to with local media buyers.

Then again maybe it's all because Scott Thomason left town.

speaking of "out of the stone age":

i have a friend who has two cell phones, a Blackberry, a laptop, a Bluetooth (wireless) headset, and a few other gadgets. he packs all of these around every day.

when he noticed my five-year-old cell phone which i often turn off, he exclaimed:

"c'mon! get out of the stone age!"

it's all a matter of perspective, i guess. but i always wonder at what point "buy and use a lot of techno-crap" became synonymous with being advanced beyond "the stone age."

The Oregonian weekly throwaway is another thing I could do without. Fortunately, there is an Oregonian distributor a couple of blocks away and I throw the thing on their doorstep while I'm out walking.

DEX is now a separate entity from Qwest, so Amanda's idea doesn't fly, since it's not part of a phone company any more (and a lot of people--me included--don't have land line service anymore.)

My feeling: ban distribution of the books entirely and then if anyone wants one, they can call one of the phone book companies for it. Though, hmmmn, how would you look up the number?

DEX is now a separate entity from Qwest, so Amanda's idea doesn't fly, since it's not part of a phone company any more (and a lot of people--me included--don't have land line service anymore.)

Then per my plan, DEX wouldn't get to deliver unsolicited books to anyone, and people without land lines wouldn't get a phone book unless you asked for one.

When I left my home this morning, I picked up the bag of Verizon books by the mailbox, and put them directly into the recycling. On my return home a few minutes ago, a second set had been deposited by my front steps. So I retrieved the first set from the garage and put them both at the end of the driveway. Has anyone found the right number to call to have them removed?

If you've ever tried to cancel the O

No kidding...I cancelled mine almost two years ago. I still get it. I have called numerous time to get it stopped. Still there every morning. So it goes from the porch to the recycle box. Drives me nuts.

O: I finally put a sign in my yard that said: "if you can read this, do not leave any newspaper here!" That worked, after 9 calls to supervisors did not.

Now the stupid phone books. I am extremely disturbed that forests are being wrecked for this thing I have to recycle and never use.

What we need is a new definition of littering that includes this sort of thing.

I'm an apartment manager in the Hawthorne neighborhood, and for every one unwanted phone book you receive, I receive exactly 108 (spread out over 4 buildings). I called Verizon (their directories are distributed by Idearc Media) nearly a dozen times asking them to come back and pick them up, and eventually they got sick of me and blocked my number. Attempting to recycle them would have filled up my bin for the week, so I redelivered them to their Beaverton HQ. If you'd like to watch a too-long and poorly-edited video of the whole affair, it's here:

Just to follow up here, I did some more research today and found out that Verizon/Idearc subcontracts out the distribution of their directories to a company based in Kent, Washington called "Premiere Delivery Service. Their number is (253)872-4700, and they will pick up your unwanted Verizon phone book.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

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
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
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Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
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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

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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: 113
At this date last year: 155
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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