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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Freedom of speech

I predicted it, and lo and behold, it has come to pass.

Comments (45)

Couldn't have said it any better myself. If that homeowner needs a legal defense fund, we'll start one here.

You called it straight up.

Now, the only question is going to be how many other copycats will do similar things, going for the shock quote, or the pithy quote, or the whatever quote to get them their 15mins of fame.

I could be fun guessing all the different sayings that will come out of the woodwork. Maybe Google Maps will get more hits with people nationwide watching "Potter's Pundits" gone wild!


$10 says the city will force the homeowner to take the sign down.

Well, of course they will try. Read the story. They're already trying. But I hope they don't succeed.

It's not like this was a particuarly hard one to call, so no special prophetic skill required there. The notion of roof signs has been discusseed in this neieghborhood pretty much since the tram was announced.

Force the homeowner to take the sign down?

On what pretext?

It's their property and their harming no one.

"Property"? This is Portland.

I could almost swear I heard something about a nude neighborhood bbq being planned a while ago. I wonder what happened to that?

It's been a little chilly for that. You want the tram passengers to be able to see those gonads.

This was mentioned on the news earlier, either channel 8 or 2...I tend to flip around between the shows. Anyway, the anchor mentioned that the city does in fact believe that the sign violates a specific ordinance or code.

Of course, they did not cite any statutes. I have a hunch that if there isn't a rule on the books, that they will quickly MAKE one up, just for this.

Yeah, the very notion of "private property" is anathema to the collectivist hive of Portland. You can bet money that if people decide to get nude in their private back yards over this, that the local government will quickly cook up another rule declaring that your back yard is "public" if it can be easily viewed by the public. In this case, that would be OHSU employees riding that absurd taxpayer-subsidized bus in the sky, peering down at people's roofs and yards and into their windows.

Which, ironically enough, is one of the major complaints of the neighborhood that had this BS crammed down it's throat in the FIRST place.

I think most signage codes have a "visible from the street" component.

Jack's photo (and therefore original idea) is the way to do it.

Each roof displays a single scrabble letter. That way no particular house can be cited for having a 'sign' on the roof.

There will be nude barbies in our neighborhood plus more signs. If the city allows feces to be smeared on private property by others in the name of free speech, then they must allow the roof signs. Public nudity is allowed, just don't get aroused.

I'm guessing that City Code 32.32.030, Subsection K, will apply.

Temporary banners over 100 sq.ft. can be displayed for 180 days at any given residential location.

It seems to me that one house could have it for 179 days, then it would be moved to another house.

And, I agree with got logic?, eight houses, each with a single letter would be better. But, congrats to the initiator!

So if the city makes a new ordinance to force the sign to come down, does the homeowner have a M37 claim? If so, would the city pay them, or waive the new ordinance?

This could get mighty fun!

Signage, schminage. There is so much more.

I'm thinking laser pointer light shows. But then, I'm just getting started ....

The only solution to this problem is to completely fog the windows of the tram... or shut it down.. And I seriously doubt the city would concider either one.

Swap it with: Akon That

Verbal depiction? 14 years old? On stage no less? Let them ban the word Akon, as a verb. Then ask who owns Google or Youtube etc and profit from much much more than mere verbal depictions. If it ain't for profit it must be banned, I suppose. We like profit.

Look up 52 Or App 399, Van v. Travel Information Council in the context of billboards near highways. (Safety, Aesthetics and Recreation.)

Door knocking on this one ought to be fun – What is your price for roof rental?

If my memory serves me correctly, I remember seeing a couple of barns over the years which had different colored roofing material used to spell out words on their roof.

Is it against the law to put a new roof on your house, but "unfortunately" mix in a few light colored tiles in the midst of the darker tiles?

Think I like this even better as a strike against the Tyranny of Nice than a strike against the tram. I look forward to another test of our righteous First Amendment. Keep Portland Weird!

That made my day! Freakin awesome!

Roof is the new blog.

KATU has it wrong in their story-you can look directly down because the frosted glass is only on the lower portion of the convexed glass. (see photo or ride the beast) If you put your eyes close to the mid section of the convexed glass-its widest part- you can look directly down (or very close to it). It is certainly dramatic viewing and not what was promised the neighborhood in this regard. But who cares about this historical designated neighborhood, get rid of those close to retiring hippies and new families trying to be urban dwellers.

For the CoP enforcement folks who want to force removal of the sign......

Lets get a rope|

Hang the CoP f**kers!

KGW-TV says the perp "thinks he has made his point" and has agreed to take down the sign. Damn.

The interesting question would be if anyone at the City would have complained if the rooftop sign had read "Congrats OHSU." I'm guessing not.

Outside of dimensions, anyone want to contrast this to Mr Adam's STOP WALMART sign he has in his window visible to the street?

While Portland's sign ordinance is quite restrictive, Art Pearce and others quoted in the story are wrong in saying that the ordinance prohibits signs in residential areas. Such a ban would be clearly unconstitutional. As it is, the sign ordinance might well be unconstitutionally broad in its application and is deserving of a challenge (ACLU are you listening?) as a violation of Article I, section 8 of the Oregon constitution.

I'm very disappointed that the homeowner has decided to remove it, if indeed he has, but I can understand why he would. He's quite brave for voicing the sentiment of the neighborhood regardless. We all considered doing exactly what he did and talked about it extensively in the neighborhood, but were deterred by the sign code. Under the code, banners of certain dimensions are allowed temporarily. The ordinance does not specifically address placement of a banner on a roof. What the homeowner did would probably be legal if the sign were divided into three and met the dimension requirements.

If you're serious about getting a legal defense fund together, Jack, this might make a great test case for the Portland sign ordinance. It would be great to overturn it. I think you'd find a fair amount of support from free expression advocates.

The fact that people can see the sign to complain about it is rich. The photo in the O story SHOWS people standing and looking right down onto the neighborhood. No wonder those people feel so violated. Frosted glass my bumm!

Funny aside: Big pipe talked to a friend of mine about our street being renamed and when she called him on how the Council "waived" all of the ordinance that included citizen involvement he said, "well we did that for Naito Parkway..." There you have it. The pipe has spoken. They've done it before so now its routine. Will build to suit laws are the Council's specialty.

It's like Portland's land use laws. They're there to stop you from doing anything with your lot. But if it's some slumlord like Homer Williams or Joe Weston, those rules are highly negotiable.

Has anyone got an uncensored photo of the F--- the Tram banner?

I'm sure we could ask the homeowner for a photograph suitable for posting :). According to the KATU site, his name is Justin Auld and his house is located just to the west of I-5. I couldn't find a phone number for him, but we can probably find a way to contact him.

Another idea we considered is to put banners like Mr. Auld's on car roofs and simply drive around the neighborhood within sight of the tram cars. Myself, I routinely flip them off whenever I see them. Unfortunately, this is all an expression of impotent rage -- what we really need are creative ideas for *really* fighting back.

How about a paintball attack on the tram? Seems like there are places where it would be within reasonable distance to hit it with a paintball gun.

F&*# the Tram should be the replacement for Keep Portland Weird.

How about a paintball attack on the tram?

Nah. If you miss, you get a really unhappy neighbor. Keep it visual.

How about a paintball attack on the tram? Seems like there are places where it would be within reasonable distance to hit it with a paintball gun.

I dunno, there is probably some law against firing one in the city limits you would be breaking there too. (And vandalism to make your point is probably not the best idea anyway.)

I remember years back there was a decorative flower bed in front of the Zoo that had a clock face in flowers. I think any house under the tram route could put in aa new flower bed with colored fonts to spell out the words.

I believe we established that being naked in your own yard, if not in a sexual manner IS legal with the 'Naked Neighbor' story a little while ago.

It seems to me that the law refers to signage such as this as offensive only if it can be viewed by the general public under normal circumstances. The roof was there long before the tram. I believe the property owners right to place signs on his roof should be the same as a guy living a mile away.

As the tram path is now a right-of-way, the city / OHSU should have been required to purchase all of the properties in the pathway just as they would if they put a street through there. The homes are now in considerably more peril and any sense of privacy they once had in their own yards, is completely gone.

There should be signs in the tram gondolas that say, “For your protection and the privacy of others, please don’t look down!”

How much damage has the tram has done to the property values of those poor people?

It seems that a lot of people are being short sighted.

I don't see a sign, I see a temporary roof leak repair.

It is perhaps unfortunate the only tarp material this gentleman possessed had that particular phrase on it, but it could have also said TYVEK. Here in the northwest where it rains a good deal of the time, one must take whatever reasonable means necessary to protect their property.

Coincidentally, 'Tyvek' in a now extinct South American tribal language happens to mean, "F**K the tram."

- - -
Surely it celebrates the unbounded free speaking era heralded in the Republican license of Cheney, Dick.

Oddly hypocritic, even puppet propaganda, that ALL the TV -- KATU, KGW, KOIN, FUXnews -- and radio -- LIARS Larson, Rash Lamebrain, Michael Sewage -- protected frightwing extremist Cheney by assiduously avoiding to report this.

The obvious solution:

Nike pungles up a small stipend to cover every rooftop beneath the tram with a Swoosh.

In return, the city gives them naming rights for that ridiculous Park Block Five project.

I think this was just a ploy by OHSU to boost tram ridership.


As a former resident of Under the Tram, we had a very private back yard hot tub that is now in full view of the trammers. Would the city and OHSU step in if unclothed hot tubbers caused consternation to the tram riders? Would they have a legal right to do so, having deprived those tubbers of visual privacy?


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