Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



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About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Jack Bog's Blog in May 2007. They are listed from newest to oldest. April 2007 is the previous archive. June 2007 is the next archive. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

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Jack Bog's Blog, by Jack Bogdanski of Portland, Oregon

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May 2007 Archives

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What the heck is this?

Here's a mystery from Brandon over at Welcome to Blog:

I was wondering if you and your readers might be able to help me solve a mystery. When I got home from work tonight, I found a cooler sitting in my front yard. Written on the top of it: ""M.B.I. METRO Q.C. DO NOT DISTURB." Of course, I opened it. Sitting inside were six metal tubes in murky water.

I live over by Lewis and Clark and there's a McMansion being built
across the street from my place. I can only assume the construction
site has something to do with the cooler. A Google search didn't turn
up anything worthwhile.

Photos and further info are up on my blog. Here's a direct link:

http://laurabush.info/2007/05/plutonium-in-my-bushes.html

Anyone got any ideas? If so, please leave a comment over there.

UPDATE, 6/1, 9:40 a.m.: As usual, the blogosphere has the answer.

You be the judge

What's a just punishment for this guy (assuming he's convicted)?

History was made tonight

And I'm proud to say that I am a witness.

Familiar sequence

This on Wednesday. This on Thursday -- with no mention of Wednesday.

Pitiful.

Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom, ba ba bom ba ba bom, ba dangy dang dang, ba dingy dong ding

Blue moon.

Call now -- Heidi and Brandy want to talk with you

The IRS has started using private debt collection companies to collect unpaid federal taxes. This is a colossally bad idea, but "privatization" has such a nice ring to the little Republican minds at Treasury, I guess. Anyway, if you're one of the lucky taxpayers to get tapped by one of these collectors, it's likely to be... well, an interesting experience. Here are some transcripts that were bouncing around in Congress last week of calls that one taxpayer got:

Call # 1

Taxpayer: Hello.

CBE: Is [REDACTED] there?

Taxpayer: Speaking.

CBE: Right.

Taxpayer: Yes.

CBE: Hey this is Brad with the CBE Group, actually giving you a quick call here tonight in reference to a personal business matter. We actually sent you out a letter. You received that; right?

Taxpayer: No. Who is the CBE Group?

CBE: We are actually just handling a personal business matter of yours.

Taxpayer: What personal business matter?

CBE: Well, actually in order to disclose that we would need to verify your home mailing address with you.

Taxpayer: No, no, no, no. I don't know who you are or what this is. I'm not just going to just give out personal information over the phone to somebody I've never heard of.

CBE: No, I understand. I mean if you'd feel better about it I mean I can give you my number and you can give me a call back.

Taxpayer: No. I don't feel better about it at all. I have no knowledge of any personal business matter. I have no reason to talk to you.

CBE: No, and I understand. We sent you out a letter, so maybe when you receive that you can give us a call back.

Taxpayer: Okay. If it's from someone I never heard of I probably just threw it out because I thought it was junk mail. So unless you can establish some -- tell me more about who you are and what this is all about and give me some real detail, I consider the matter closed.

CBE: Okay. Thank you.

Taxpayer: Bye.

CBE: Bye.

Call #2

Taxpayer's Answering Machine: This is 663 [REDACTED]. Please leave a message. If you want [REDACTED] press 1, if you want [REDACTED].

Taxpayer's Message: Hi, this is [REDACTED]. Please leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

CBE: This is Brandy. Please call me at 877-272-9923. Thanks.

Call #3

Taxpayer's Answering Machine: This is 663 [REDACTED]. Please leave a message. If you want [REDACTED] press 1. If you want [REDACTED] , just wait for the tone.

Taxpayer's Message: Hi, this is [REDACTED]. Please leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

CBE: Yeah, this is Heidi. Please call me back at 877-272-9923. Thank you.

Call #4

Taxpayer's Answering Machine: This is 663 [REDACTED]. Please leave a message. If you want [REDACTED], press 1. If you want [REDACTED], just wait for the tone.

Taxpayer's Message: Hi, this is [REDACTED]. Please leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

CBE: Hi. this is Alex. Just need you to return my call. The number here is 877-272-9923. Thank you.

Call #5

CBE: Thanks for calling CBE. This is Jennifer, number 100. How can I help you?

Taxpayer: Yes, can I speak to Alex, please.

CBE: Actually, Alex comes in in the evenings. Is there something that I can help you with?

Taxpayer: I have been getting harassing phone calls from your company by people who refuse to leave their last names. They are very rude. They say I need you to call me back. That's not something you say. You say would you please call me back.

I've gotten many of these from people with names like Brandy and Heidi and so on calling me. They don't tell me what it's about and they are asking me to call them back. I have no idea what this regards, but I need information about it and if I am not treated -- if the harassment does not desist and I am not treated with courtesy, the lawyers and the police will be on this soon.

CBE: Okay. Well, I can see what this is in regards to, sir. I'm sorry, your name?

Taxpayer: [REDACTED]

CBE: Okay. And could I just get your last name.

Taxpayer: Could I have your last name?

CBE: Yes, last name is Benoit, B-E-N-O-I-T. My ID number is 100.

Taxpayer: Okay. Mine is [REDACTED].

CBE: Okay.

Taxpayer: What is this company?

CBE: It's the CBE Group.

Taxpayer: What is that?

CBE: And it does appear we're handling a business matter here for a [REDACTED]. But, sir, I do have to verify Social Security number and mailing address.

Taxpayer: No. I'm not going to give out my Social Security number and mailing address to somebody who I don't know.

CBE: Okay, I completely understand that. I do have it here in front of me. Is there any portion of it you are comfortable with verifying?

Taxpayer: No, I'm not. Could you please tell me what the CBE Group is?

CBE: Well, we're handling a business matter here, sir, and unfortunately it is a secure matter and so we do have to be careful about who we give that information to. Have you not received the letter we sent out to you?

Taxpayer: No.

CBE: No.

Taxpayer: And I told -- people have been calling me about this. You can't just call me incessantly and say you are handling a business matter, not tell me what it is about, ask me for personal private information, and then say that I have to provide you with this information. You have to verify to me who you are. I have never heard of the CBE Group. I've never done business with anything called the CBE Group.

Continue reading "Call now -- Heidi and Brandy want to talk with you" »

Good morning

To you.

How high's the water, Mama?

The Portland Water Bureau says it's got the part it needs to fix the pooling function at the fountain in Jamison Park in the Pearl District. At last report, the plan was to fix it this morning before the day heats up and the kids make the scene.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rage against the machine

I got one of those "Dear blogger, We have something to sell your readers" e-mails this afternoon. I'm not game enough to get too involved, but the service they're offering does look interesting.

Just as you fire up that air conditioner

A lovely surprise from the Bonneville Power Administration! Thanks, Bush!

Where's our congressional delegation?

And where's Opie? After his PGE coup was quashed, his fervor for public power completely disappeared. Would a well organized, well managed public power district avoid some of these rude surprises? Guess we'll never know.

Fatal attraction

Here's a horror story.

One way of coping with PDX

An international traveler recently returned from Beijing writes:

Hey, a weird thing happened to me on the way home. I usually take a sleeping pill on these long 12-18 hour flights like to New Zealand, China, Russia. This time I took Ambien. Gosh it worked so fast. But I cannot remember anything after falling asleep until we were on our way home in the taxi on about Highway 26. I don't remember eating the breakfast before landing or filling out my customs forms, or getting off the plane, or getting my suitcase or even going through customs. Then I remembered hearing on the news the past few years about people doing weird things from taking Ambien, Xanax or Halcion... I think one person got so belligerent on a flight that they arrested him/her when the plane landed. So I Googled it. And I had "traveler's amnesia". How scary is that... knowing that people take this stuff daily!! Look at this:
Memory loss (so-called traveler's amnesia), sleepwalking, and odd mood states have been reported after taking short-acting benzodiazepines...

In 2006, reports emerged of zolpidem (Ambien) causing sleepwalking and, even more bizarrely, sleep-driving. Most of these cases likely were due to patients using zolpidem along with alcohol or other drugs or taking more than the recommended dose. However, in March 2007, the FDA ordered the makers of 13 of these drugs to strengthen warning labels. The FDA warned these medicines may be associated with potentially severe allergic reactions, such as severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and severe facial swelling (angiodema). These medicines may also cause sleep-related behaviors, such as driving, making phone calls, and eating food while asleep.

Sometimes you wonder which bloggers were on these drugs when they posted various writings.

Definitional issue

The Multnomah County Democratic Party just sent me an e-mail that invites "PCPs and all interested Democrats" to attend training in Tualatin on Saturday. The idea, they say, is "to train and prepare activists and future leaders with the skills and knowledge to ensure Democratic victories throughout Oregon."

Fine, but I've got just one question: What the heck is a PCP?

Slight resemblance

For some reason this guy reminds me of Fireman Randy when he's mad.

Rubio: A Portland gem

I saw in the Merc blog the other day that Mr. Rubio of Rubio Shoe Repair in downtown Portland will be packing it in pretty soon. Back in the day when I was a full-time practicing lawyer, he put new heels and soles on many a pair of my shiny attorney shoes. He rebuilt a pair of Frye boots that I had at the time, and he even repaired a special leather wallet of mine that I didn't want to part with.

In those days he was working close to the courthouse. Now he's over on Ash, down by the Saturday Market, I guess. With his highly waxed and curly mustache, he always had a pleasant word or two as I sought his help to try to squeeze an extra year or two out of the shoes I bought at Nordstrom. He seemed like the quintessential small business owner -- hard-working, real as could be, and managing to get by. Now there's the kind of guy I wouldn't mind seeing a few of my tax dollars going to support.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes with being good at what you do for a living. I'll bet you Mr. Rubio feels it. Maybe I ought to find something in the closet for him to fix, just one more time before he retires, for old time's sake.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Here's what we really need

In the second phase of Mayor Potter's Portland Vision Quest, I'm recommending that we implement stricter government accountability measures.

The new other white meat

Coal.

Linchpins, linchpins everywhere

All over the great Pacific Northwest, it's so wonderful to see local government giving money away to the deserving real estate operators so that they can build, build, build those vital community assets, with no thought for their own financial interests.

Use a hoe...

... go to jail.

The Jamison Fountain is on the blink

The popular fountain in the block-square park in the Pearl District is bubbling away today, but the feature that makes the water pool up and then gently recede isn't functioning properly. The Water Bureau is working on it, but in the meantime, you toddler parents all over town who take the wee ones to that place for a mental health break -- be forewarned.

Fireman Randy hates the poor

He and his Big Idea pal are taking food from the babies' mouths.

Lost opportunity

I see that the City of Portland and the Pamplins still can't come to terms on a transfer of ownership of Ross Island. It's a darn shame. That place has got such great potential to benefit all of Portland. Respect the land, people!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dimming of the day

Memorial Day photo? Sure. Here.

Ah, those condo developers

They're such great people. Everybody loves 'em.

Preserve your memories

Here are some photos to go with last year's words about my dad, the veteran:


1945
With his nephew Timmy


1954
With me


1967
At a cookout at the American Legion Post

God rest all the vets.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nasty news

It's not like this blog is a regular source of consumer alerts, but a scary story in the Times makes it worth posting that if you have been using a contact lens solution known as AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution, you should drop everything and read this right away.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Be thankful I don't take it all

If you drive a 'Vette
I'll tax your smog
If you keep a pet
I'll tax your dog
If you break a sweat
I'll tax your jog
If you're on the 'net
I'll tax your blog
Taxman!

Bees!

A huge swarm of bees took up residence this afternoon on the dogwood tree in the parking strip just outside Blog Central. Hundreds of 'em, maybe 18 or 20 feet up. The Mrs. called a bee expert, who says they're not hornets or yellowjackets. According to this gal, they could stay an hour, or 24 hours, but most likely they're looking for a structure in the neighborhood in which to set up a more permanent shop. She also said that professional beekeepers might want them, if they can get up high enough on the tree to reach them. Anybody out there interested?

UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: A nice beekeeper guy is here to take our new buddies off our hands. They're honeybees -- around 7,000 of them. It's his second such stop of the day.

UPDATE, 5:39 p.m.: It was a pretty straightforward job. The guy just climbed on up and physically knocked bunches of bees into a bucket. Many of them stayed in there as he climbed down and deposited them into a hive box on the tailgate of his big old pickup. He got the queen in there on the first swipe, which made matters easier. Once she was in the box, the thousands that he dumped in that general direction all flew in after her. "They smell her," he explained. "That's all they care about right now."

Here's the setup with the box on the pickup. There's a little bunch swarming on the tailgate there, right in front of the box. Eventually, they hopped in voluntarily, to be with their queen. Note that I took this shot through a tightly closed window:

After he had thinned out the swarm on the tree a bit, he actually hauled the whole box up there and swept many more in:

Within an hour, the whole crew was en route to its new home out Division Street quite a ways. Bon voyage, guys!

Friday, May 25, 2007

They need help, and incarceration

Yes, I hope these people get treatment for their mental illness -- so long as they remain behind bars for, say, 30 years or so.

And now, your moment of Zen, cont'd

Have a great weekend.

Trouble in Ukraine

This is sad to see.

Travels with Charlie

Former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, whose motto is "An expensive streetcar for every subsidized condo tower," is apparently jetting around selling trolleys to the unwashed masses of the Northeast. (They already have the apartment buildings.) A correspondent in Providence, R.I. wrote us last night with this:

You seemed very interested about my evening, so I will give you the description that you have asked for.

Tonight, I attended an event hosted by Growth Smart RI. For your readers who do not know, I have spent the last two years being displaced from my beloved Chicago and have been living in the Northeast. I must begin by dispelling many rumors that we (west coasters, and frankly, the rest of the country) have about the Northeast.

I DO NOT THINK THE NORTHEAST LIBERAL EXISTS. Dude. A northeast liberal is like sasquatch. They may be seen in grainy pictures, but outside of that, I have only found puritans here.

But you have no interest in that... do you?

No. You want something more. I spent my evening at a rather fancy event. It took place in Providence's new Renaissance Hotel. Now, this building had begun construction in 1929 as a building for the Masons. However, the stock market crash halted all construction on the project and it had sat as an empty shell for nearly 80 years. I think that building fairly well describes Providence. A once thriving mill town that no longer has a purpose, and yet is searching for one, and searching desperately. How do we bring business into RI? How do we make RI a 21st century livable city? How do we foster proper development? These are all questions that are being asked by a group in RI called Grow Smart RI.

Now please don't get me wrong, these are all very valid questions. These are all good questions for every city in the country. Especially, those old urban centers that have been in a sharp decline.

But, tonight, they brought in a Gentleman from Portland, Charlie Hales.

They brought him in to speak about the success of the TriMet system (although he never mentioned it by name), specifically, to discuss Light Rail and the incredible positive impact that it has had on the City of Portland.

First, let us compare the City of Providence vs. the City of Portland:

Land area
Providence 20.5 sq. miles (no, I did not forget a zero)
Portland 145.4 sq. miles

Population
Providence 176,862
Portland 562,690

Basic math will give us this:
Providence population per square mile 8627
Portland population per square mile 3869

That last number is why Portland is to some considered an urban sprawl, not a dense livable City as most will describe it. For reference, Phoenix Arizona, to all considered the worst of the "sprawl" has a population per square mile of 2865, less than Portland, but both significantly less dense than many traditional cities.

Charlie was introduced to the audience by the mayor of Providence, David Cicilline. Mayor Cicilline introduced the Transit 2020 plan to the audience. An initiative on how to improve the public transit in the state: http://www.transit2020.com/2020E-Report.pdf

Check the link. Recognize any pictures?

Now, imagine a town like Providence, with almost 20% of the entire City of Portland, and what our public transit system looks like. Well, here in Providence, we really don't have a Providence public transit system; instead, we have a Rhode Island Transit System. Rhode Island being only 1200 sq. miles in size is only the size of Multnomah County, but with a little less than twice the population of Multnomah County.

I have only ridden the RIPTA system once. I have found it faster to walk anywhere in this city than to take one of the buses. And from my time in Chicago, I have been a HUGE fan of public transportation. (Chicago, 234 sq. miles, 2.12 million people, 9000+ people per square mile, similar density to Providence.)

Essentially, RIPTA is worthless. Although the system does serve more people than TriMet, it takes me fewer places.

Charlie began his PowerPoint lecture with a brief, locally geared introduction to Portland. He described connections between the Northeast and Portland, specifically in the namesake relating some story about how Portland's name was chosen on a coin toss, narrowly defeating Boston. Now that I have read the Wikipedia entry on Portland, he pretty much read the first paragraph of the "History" section.

Charlie then showed the crowd many pictures. He showed pictures of Portland in the early 1900s. He showed a picture of Portland in the '60s, and pictures of the city today. Now, if you were to compare these pictures of Portland to those of Providence, the growth they depict would be in reverse. Providence was far more prominent and affluent in the early 1900s than now; Portland, the opposite.

However, what I found stunning was that Charlie Hales seemed to relate this wonderful growth of Portland as "The Livable City" to be directly related to public transit, and specifically, to Light Rail. He showed one graphic that represented the growth of neighborhoods within one block of Light Rail, 2 blocks, 3 blocks, etc., to show the stunning development that can happen along these public transit lines. He also used the Pearl District as an example of neighborhood growth in Portland. Now, he did not specifically point out that this neighborhood was directly related to the onset of the Light Rail system, but I do believe he inferred strong coincidence.

Now, in my opinion, the Pearl District is built for those yuppies who work downtown, and can afford such luxury residences. They are frankly close enough to downtown that many of them could, or should, walk to work. I don't see how public transit should have any impact on the growth of this area. It is simply location location location.

Mr Hales did discuss the Pearl District for some time, showing quite a few before and after shots. When I left Oregon in 1991, central Portland was a place that I went to go to places like The City Nightclub and to fancy art galleries. It was not a place to live. Now, it most certainly is.

Having lived outside of Portland for 15 years now, I do find it very difficult to tell people where I am from. I always have to use "I am from Portland" as the general, because no one would understand "I am from Oregon City." To an Oregonian, of course, these are incredibly different places.

And most of these people I meet say, "Oh! Portland! I want to move there!" This is not a bad thing. In business terms, Portland has a great buzz about it. And truthfully, the Portland of 15 years ago no longer exists! There are some things, sure, but Portland is no longer that city that our mother tells us to lock the doors in the Plymouth Valorie station wagon with the vinyl seats when we get into town.

Continue reading "Travels with Charlie" »

Why are gas prices so high?

I'm blaming Eco-Fireman Randy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tongues of... well...

Pentecost isn't until Sunday, but the Holy Spirit is apparently taking some early test flights already.

New Nike slogan

"It's gotta be the socks!"

Lawyer to judge: "You're a few French fries short of a Happy Meal"

And funny thing, it didn't go over too well.

If you really want to follow the money...

... follow it all the way through.

And now, your moment of Zen, cont'd

A reader writes, "He makes it look so easy."


Sister cities

When it comes to giving away public money to thieving developers, Portland may be Greg Oden, but Seattle is right up there as Kevin Durant.

All aboard

The Portland City Council will now get to keep a closer eye on the Portland Development Commission, but meanwhile, who's watching Tri-Met? It seems that Bernie & Co. are getting into the real estate business these days. And whaddya know, SERA and Walsh Construction get a piece. Fascinating.

I'm glad to see the affordable housing going up, and a probably sketchy motel coming down. But does it have to go through Tri-Met, which is fast becoming the least supervised pork pot around? Sheesh. Why is our transit agency in the real estate business at all?

The whole bit about how this giveaway of light rail money is going to be made up at the farebox is cute. Let's see, they blew $907,000 on this a couple of years back. With 5 percent interest over two years, that's almost a million. They are going to get $300,000 from Reach for the property. That's almost a $700,000 difference. According to the story in the O, "TriMet estimates 30 years of transit fares generated by the project to be worth $602,000." Even if that's a present-value figure, and even if the ridership estimates aren't inflated, it doesn't add up. As I say, this may be a great project, but that sales pitch has an odor to it.

Dear Portland Public School bureaucrats

You are way dumber than the students. We'll remember how well you handle situations like this the next time you say you need another tax levy.

Soul music fans alert

It isn't often nowadays that I stumble across something that speaks to my deepest Newark, N.J. soul roots. But this, which I first heard at the Circuit rock gym recently (don't worry, the kids were climbing, not I), is really something.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: The winner

The final round of voting in Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition was extremely close all day, but by the stroke of midnight, the outcome was clear. Exactly 100 Tribal Council members cast votes, with 55 of them telling us to banish Lisa.

And so Lisa Turley, director of the Bureau of Emergency Communications, I've got the 411 for you: You were close, but no cigar. You have been dispatched. It's time to pack your things and leave the island immediately.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, our grand prize winner -- the Ultimate Survivor -- is Chief Dave! That's right -- Fire Chief Dave Sprando. He outplayed, outwit, and outlasted 17 other City of Portland bureau chiefs to earn the title. Here he is receiving his award from our sponsor:

Chief Dave wins the right to purchase valuable real estate from the city for a dollar, plus tax breaks originally intended to help poor people. Congratulations to him!

Everybody, join me (in the comments) with our best wishes for the Ultimate Survivor. And hey, how about a nice round of applause for all our contestants?

Without them, we wouldn't be the remarkable, livable, sustainable city we are today. And remember, they all value your input more than you will ever know, so be sure to give them a call every now and then and tell them what you really think.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Down to the wire

Our Survivor Portland Bureaucracy finale is a real nail-biter. The two final players are neck and neck at this hour. We'll close the balloting at exactly midnight tonight.

Road Trip of the Future

An alert reader has pointed out that I need to pay a visit to this place sometime.

Pope: "I'm infallible, but...

... I do flip-flop from time to time."

And another thing...

To add to this week's existential inquiry relating to blogging, suddenly the posting of comments on this blog is running at a snail's pace. We are aware of the problem, and hoping for a technical solution, but in the meantime, it sure does seem as though someone is trying to tell us something. There are many things I would miss about blogging, but the technical side of running the site would not be one of them.

UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: My main man Jake once again has quickly diagnosed and fixed my tech problems. (See comments.) That's what you call a mensch, folks.

Red-letter day

Yesterday was a great day for the Blazers, but it was also a big one for Portland Commissioner Sam "the Tram" Adams. The stage has been set for him to do what he does best. Congratulations!

A man after my own heart

While I ponder my future in the Portland blogosphere, here's an up-and-comer who's got it exactly right. Read and enjoy. (Via More Hockey Less War.)

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: The final jury

Hail to the Chief, and farewell to the Chief. The head honcho of whole shop, that is -- Ken. He was voted off the island by the Tribal Council yesterday, setting the stage for today's final showdown on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust, the tribe has spoken. Your interim is overim. Pack your bags and leave the camp immediately. You will be contacted shortly for your recruiting dinner at Bluehour with Homer Williams.

And so it has come down to this. Through 16 votes, one Media Immunity award, and a week of computerized Random Immunity selections, a field of 18 City of Portland bureau chiefs has been narrowed to just two, Lisa and Chief Dave. That's Fire Chief Dave Sprando and Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley.

It's time to pick one as the Ultimate Survivor -- winner of our grand prizes, the right to purchase a valuable parcel of real estate from the city for a dollar, and tax breaks originally intended for poor people.

Now being that this is the final round, and we're deviating a bit from the format of the television show of the same name, let's be sure we're clear on the rules for the final vote. As we did the last several weeks, we're asking to you to mark the name of the bureau director whom you would like to see off the island. The one you don't vote against today is the one whom you think should be the Ultimate Survivor.

Good luck to the two remaining contestants, and here goes:

It's time to determine the Ultimate Survivor. Only two Portland agency heads remain. Which one of them do you want to see voted OFF the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
  
pollcode.com free polls

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blazer draft pick: NUMBER 1!!!

Somebody up there loves us.

The vision thing, now in paperback

Grampy's Portland Vision Quest project rolls along. Now there's a 16-page booklet supposedly summarizing and reacting to what they found out from the questionnaires that folks filled out. There's the inevitable followup questionnaire as well. For the big pdf file with the whole booklet, go here. For the short version and some other stuff, go here.

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time?

Here's a great gift that renews my hope for the future.

It isn't just the Jail Blazers, cont'd

Here are some more athletes who just don't get it.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Three on a Match

Even in biblical times, tax collectors weren't well regarded. Thus, it is a true testament to her likability that Revenue Sue made it to the Final Four on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. But that's as far as she got, and yesterday's Tribal Council vote banished her from the island, leaving just three of her fellow Portland city agency heads behind. Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz, your torch has been extinguished. You must leave the island immediately, and no extensions of time will be granted. Please don't forget to pay the transient lodging "user fee" on your way out.

Some Tribal Council members theorized that without the tax collector, the rest of the cast couldn't survive. Although that might be how it would work in the real world, those rules don't apply here. And so we have three cast members left -- Chief Dave, Ken, and Lisa -- two of whom must leave us over the next couple of days. All immunity idols have been put away; it's all in your hands now, Tribal Council.


Chief Dave
Fire Chief Dave Sprando


Ken
Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust


Lisa
Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley

Time to vote. Bounce another city agency head out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, today and tomorrow, until only one bureaucrat survives. Good luck, remaining cast members!

Just three Portland city bureau directors left! Who should be the next one to leave the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
  
pollcode.com free polls

Factoid of the Day

Justice Clarence Thomas sat through 68 hours of oral arguments in the Supreme Court's current term without uttering a word.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Standing at the crossroads, believe I'm sinking down

Two days off the blog really got me thinking about why I'm still doing this. "Why?" is a question that people have been asking me since just after I started blogging, nearly five years ago. I had some reasons that I gave then, and I have some now, but lately I'm having trouble getting them out of my mouth without noticing how hollow they are starting to sound. Meanwhile, there have always been good reasons to stop, and none of them have gone away. The old cliche, costs and benefits. You think and you weigh, but if you're me, there's a limit to how much analyzing you do. I almost always wind up going with my gut.

Bill McDonald's words of exactly a month ago, when he shut down the Portland Freelancer, raise the issue in terms that I can't improve on:

This blog world is fun but I believe that it's beginning to do me harm.... The break-in of my house this week was a reminder of the fleeting nature of opportunity. There is a limited amount of time to get it together, so I've got to return to the path.... I once wrote a song called, "Out From the Underground": The first lines were: "When I get out from the underground, I'm going to take a look around. This invisibility is doing weird things to me." Well, I've had my look around, and now I want to go back. I've got a project I've got to do, and I want to put everything into it.... I've got some life homework and I've been putting it off, and it's sort of understandable. Learning has become harder as I get older. I actually can still write pretty fast at times, but I only have a limited amount of energy in a day and I can't waste it. I've got to work on my new project. Blogging was fun, but I've got something I've got to do. Of course, the Portland Freelancer reserves the right to return at any time. Quitting things like this can take several attempts, but for now, I am so gone.
That "life homework" line, like so many that Bill penned on his wonderful blog, hit the nail right on the head. In my corner of the world right now, a lot of those same feelings are knocking around. I'm coming to some new realizations about what I've got at stake, and how little time there really is in any given day to take care of the most important business. All this blogging, as marvelous and empowering and potentially valuable and fun as it may be, can only get in the way.

I think things are going to have to be different on this site now. There's a project or two I want to finish out of all the topics I've been covering here lately, but the pace and the focus are going to have to change. It's time to ratchet back down from a passion to a light hobby, if that's possible given my personality. Another option is just to turn the darn thing off, leaving this as an archive site, at least for a while.

Obviously, I'll keep mulling all this over as the week goes on. No reason to rush. I've turned the comments off on this post, because if you have any thoughts on the matter that are truly intended for me, you can e-mail them to me here. If there's something that you'd like to say about it in public, you're going to have to do that elsewhere. As wonderful as it can often be, on this topic a public conversation with strangers on the internet is not what I'm looking for.

UPDATE, 12:51 p.m.: Thanks to those who have so quickly written me words of support and encouragement. They are appreciated.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: The Final Four

We had to go into overtime to settle it, but Friday's Tribal Council session on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition ended with Rosie being voted off the island. Police Chief Rosie Sizer's torch is hereby extinguished, and she is to depart camp immediately. As always, no appeals are available. And here on Survivor, the disability and retirement benefits aren't that hot.

So we're down to the Final Four. With three votes to go before the Ultimate Survivor is named, let's recap who's still in the running:


Chief Dave
Fire Chief Dave Sprando


Ken
Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust


Lisa
Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley


Revenue Sue
Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz

None of the players was named in any published writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg since Thursday, and so no one has Media Immunity today. And with so few Tribal Council votes left, Random Immunity and Media Immunity have both been turned off for the rest of the contest.

With that, it's time to vote another one of the city agency heads out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, today through Wednesday, until only one bureaucrat survives. Good luck, remaining cast members!

We're down to just four city bureau directors. Which should be the next one to leave the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
  
pollcode.com free polls


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Unfinished business

I have returned to the blogosphere to see that we currently have a tie on Friday's edition of Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. We will keep the balloting open until late this evening. If you haven't voted yet, and would like to help us avoid having to figure out what to do to break a tie, please do so here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Planned outage

By my reckoning, the last day on which there was no entry on this blog was last July 29.

The next such day will be tomorrow.

It's time to take a break after something like 293 days straight of bloggy goodness, rain or shine. I might even think about stuff a little.

The current plan is for a return sometime on Sunday, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

Everyone please stay on your best behavior now, and enjoy your Saturday.

If the donuts don't kill you

A reader sends along an e-mail message that she got from a friend last night:

Here's a story, and I wonder if you'll think I'm off my rocker or the only sane one. The kids and I were driving up to Krispy Kreme (a once in a year thing, I swear) and there were two guys dressed in Star Wars fighter uniforms. Very expensive ones with complete face-covering helmets, and they were carrying what looked like assault rifles.

Right away I was on my guard. I parked the car at the far end of the parking lot and wouldn't let the kids out. I mean, what a great way to massacre a bunch of people! There is no way anyone could i.d. these guys, and everyone was so unsuspecting. I watched for a few minutes and when I saw that they were talking peacefully it seems to a normal-looking guy, I went inside and asked if the masked armed men were hired by Krispy Kreme. They thought that was funny!

But really, why Star Wars at a donut shop? Homer Simpson, yeah, I can see the tie-in. Anyway, if you ever want to kill a bunch of unsuspecting people, show up in a Star Wars costume. Nobody asked about these guys but me!!! People were coming up to them, no problem! Am I totally paranoid or what? What really freaked me out was that when we were leaving, some parents were taking pictures of the two guys, and one of them was holding the machine gun-type thing to their child's head while the child was kneeling, execution-style. I am not kidding!!!!! This is a sick, sick, sick, sick world!

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 14

The new guy is now old news. Paul, our newest addition to the cast on Survivor: Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition, lasted only a few days. He received the most votes in yesterday's Tribal Council. Random Immunity didn't save him, as the computer awarded that magic necklace to Ken. And so, Paul Scarlett, Director of Development Services, you must clear out your skinny infill hut and leave the island as quickly as your packing needs permit.

Wow, after all that, we are now down to just five players. Are they the best? Or have they just kept their heads down the longest? It doesn't matter. Survivor marches on.

None of the players was named in any published writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg yesterday, and so no one has Media immunity today. Random Immunity will be awarded by our sophisticated computer system once again, retroactively, to one of today's remaining players at the end of the voting tonight. The person with Random Immunity will remain on the island, at least for another day, even if he or she gets the most votes today. (This is the last Random Immunity award; that feature will be turned off during the Final Four next week.)

And now it's time to vote another one of the city agency directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

Photos of the original cast, and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to the five(!) remaining cast members:



Only five players are still on the island. Which Portland city bureau head should be the next to leave?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
  
pollcode.com free polls

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Feel free to tell me what a hypocrite I am

As much as I deplore vandalism, I feel that this offense should result in mere community service.

My lips are sealed, but...

A hot rumor came in this evening. Oh yeah, a spicy one. A highly prominent person in Salem is supposed to be abruptly resigning. Our rumor-spreading friend heard it from two independent sources. Man, it's a good rumor. Mmmmm....... rumors.

Who needs TV?

If you live within a couple of miles of a police crisis intervention situation, there's an easy way to tell when the incident has been resolved, without consulting the mainstream media: When News Chopper 2 (or whatever number) goes away and gives you back the peace and quiet of your evening, it's over.

Punks of the Month

If these cockroaches are still behind bars, Bernie, please! Do the right thing and throw away the key.

The ultimate eco-house

These look pretty cool.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 13

It was ever so close -- the margin was only one vote -- but Will won't. That is, Portland Housing Director Will White won't be with us any longer on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition, because the Tribal Council voted him off the island yesterday. Our newest player, Paul, was second in the balloting for expulsion, and the computer assigned Random Immunity to Revenue Sue.

Will must clear out his hut, affordable though it may have been, and leave the island immediately. He will be contacted by a Homer Williams recruiter shortly.

None of the players was named in any published writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg yesterday, and so no one has Media immunity today. Random Immunity will be awarded by our sophisticated computer system once again, retroactively, to one of today's remaining players at the end of the voting tonight. The person with Random Immunity will remain on the island, at least for another day, even if he or she gets the most votes today. (Random Immunity will continue for the rest of this week only.)

And now it's time to vote another one of the city agency directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. We should have a grand prize winner next week. He or she will get to buy valuable city real estate for a dollar, and receive tax breaks originally meant for poor people.

Photos of the original cast, and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to the six remaining cast members:



Now two thirds of the original tribe are gone. Who should be the next Portland city bureau director to leave the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Paul - Development Services Bureau Director Paul Scarlett
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
  
pollcode.com free polls

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bad scene in Spokane

Tasers, hogtying, a beating by police, and a dead suspect.

Nice joint

My buddy Matt and I had some wonderful Bordeaux wine this evening at a spot called La Bodega, on Fremont at 16th 14th or so, next to the County Cork. Comfy, friendly setting, and it looked as though they could use more business. Quite the exotic beer list as well as the fine vino. We both said how glad we were that we stopped in.

Earl's knot running

I see that Earl the Pearl's not running for the U.S. Senate against Gordon Smith. It looks as though Smith will coast to another six years. In a surprisingly frank piece on BlueOregon, Blumenauer's explaining his decision. He also reveals that the full-length ties that he was wearing while exploring the possibility of a statewide race were clip-ons, which have been certified as more sustainable than ties that you tie yourself. They are also safer for biking.

On the charter change results

The votes on yesterday's Portland charter change referenda were interesting. The failure of the proposed restructuring of the city's form of government was no surprise. I'd be glad if we could eventually get to a true ward or district representation system for the City Council (with some term limits), and you certainly run into some serious objections if you try to install districts within the existing commission format. Still, this ballot proposal to change the system was not well presented. Perhaps due to its substantive flaws, strong presentation was impossible.

In contrast, the public has said it is ready to re-examine the charter again on a regular basis, starting no later than 2011 (or maybe sooner), and so maybe some improvements can be effectuated then. I would not bet on it, however -- the vote against change this time was 3 to 1, and it will probably take some sort of actual disaster that can conclusively be pinned on the commission form before that kind of deficit can be overcome. The campaigns this time around struck me as particularly inane, and one can only hope that the quality will improve next time.

City Council budget control over the Portland Development Commission (which passed) is not a panacea by any means, but additional eyes that can be cast over the doings of "independent" agencies with nine-figure budgets are a very good thing. (Now if somebody can just figure out a way to get more eyes on the Lottery, Tri-Met, OHSU, the OLCC....)

The civil service change is disappointing. Now there may be more backroom dealing and cronyism in filling mid-level management in the city bureaucracy. Critics see some fairly weak political appointees in some of the bureaus already -- this change certainly wouldn't lessen their number. Eventually, it will probably have the opposite effect. And with the commission system chugging along, the bureaus are subject to annual reshuffling among the commissioners by the mayor. And so the games of musical chairs will be just as frequent, only now there will be more chairs to play with every time. Doesn't seem like an improvement to my untrained eye.

Oh, and one other thing: If I lost 3 to 1, I would have a nice cup of Sleepytime Tea and get a good night's sleep before I'd hit the "send" button on something like this.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 12

From Bull Run to the bum's rush, Water Dave has been voted off the island. The Tribal Council in Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition has spoken once again, and based on yesterday's vote, Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff must flow downhill, and out of the game, immediately. Without fluoride.

Random Immunity didn't help -- the computer awarded that to Paul -- and there was no Media Immunity. And so Water Dave leaves, while Chief Dave is among the seven who remain.

None of the players was named in any published writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg yesterday, and so no one has Media immunity today. Random Immunity will be awarded by our sophisticated computer system once again, retroactively, to one of today's seven players at the end of the voting tonight. The person with Random Immunity will remain on the island, even if he or she gets the most votes today. (Random Immunity will continue for the rest of this week only.)

And now it's time to vote another one of the city agency directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

If you need a better feel for the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the original cast, and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to the remaining cast members:



Water Dave's been drained. Who should be the next Portland city bureau chief to leave the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Paul - Development Services Bureau Director Paul Scarlett
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
  
pollcode.com free polls

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Three out of four charter changes passing

Am I reading this correctly? Are all the Portland charter change ballot measures passing, except for the most important one -- the form of government change?

Here's what county elections posted at 8:00:

26-89 CITY OF PORTLAND
Vote For 1
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 44,721 75.93
No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,179 24.07

26-90 CITY OF PORTLAND
Vote For 1
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 32,465 54.40
No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 27,218 45.60

26-91 CITY OF PORTLAND
Vote For 1
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,565 25.28
No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 46,016 74.72

26-92 CITY OF PORTLAND
Vote For 1
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 32,354 53.02
No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28,663 46.98

UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: The 9:00 figures didn't change much.

UPDATE, 11:27 p.m.: Nor did the 11:00.

Coming of age

I think it's high time that I stopped calling Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten by the nickname "Opie." He's not a kid any more. He's all grown up -- isn't he around 40?

But hey, the youngsters all still look up to him. And so from here on out, I think we ought to go with this. Whaddya think?

Our toothless watchdogs

I see that our new, improved Democratic Legislature has banned using a cell phone when you're driving -- but only if you're under 18! Wow, that took courage. What next -- ban smoking in bars by kids in strollers? Raise the bottle deposit to a quarter, but only on French wine bottles from prior to 1958?

They're 2 for 2 this week. Methinks it's time to wrap this year's circus up before somebody gets hurt.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 11

Not in our back yard. So said the Tribal Council yesterday as it voted Amalia -- Amalia Alarcon, director of the city Office of Neighborhood Involvement -- off the island. Amalia was the 10th player bounced from the competition on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Even with her several coalitions, she garnered the most expulsion votes. At the end of the day, the computer awarded Random Immunity to Revenue Sue, and so Amalia is to pack her things and leave the island neighborhood immediately.

In other developments, our newest addition to the contest, Paul, survived his first day of competition yesterday. None of the players was named in any published writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg, and so no one has Media immunity today. Random Immunity will be awarded again, retroactively, to one of today's eight players at the end of the voting tonight -- the winner will remain on the island, even if he or she gets the most votes today.

And now it's time to vote another one of the city agency directors out of the picture, reducing the roster of bureau chiefs to a magnificent seven. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but cast your vote just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

If you need a better feel for the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the original cast, and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Good luck, players:



Many have departed; eight remain. Who should be the next Portland city bureau chief to leave the island?
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Paul - Development Services Bureau Director Paul Scarlett
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
  
pollcode.com free polls

Must read

"I suddenly adored my father a thousand times more yesterday than the day before."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not everything a politician says is a lie

Refreshing candor from one of our illustrious state senators: "I was stupid; I was an idiot." And so another law is born.

But it's a linchpin

A friend of ours reports:

Thought you'd like this: Just got a confirmation email for a seminar I've registered for. From that email:
LOCATION: The seminar will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland (777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.), in Room D138-140 (located on Level One of the Oregon Convention Center).

Please be aware that the temperature in the rooms at the convention center can vary, so we recommend that you dress "in layers."

I hope the new Convention Center hotel will have proper HVAC.

You shouldn't laugh...

... but as a reader astutely points out, it's been a tough year for Ho's.

Whatever happened to the Burnside Bridgehead project?

Remember the Burnside Bridgehead scam? This is the plan to turn the east side of the Burnside Bridge in Portland into another soulless condo tower, supposedly with retail attached. Two years ago, it was all the big news from the Portland Development Commission. First they said they were going to put a Home Depot on that location, which freaked out the neighbors and existing businesses nearby on MLK and Grand. The PDC bigwigs at the time, all Goldschmidt lieutenants, eventually backed off that wicked idea. But then they manipulated the developer selection process and awarded the project to Opus Northwest (of Bridgeport Village fame, as I recall), when the superior design had come from an outfit called Beam Development, which was the clear public favorite for the project.

By this time Tom Potter had become mayor, and although it took him a while to clean out the PDC facecards, he immediately jawboned that agency into letting Beam have a piece of the project, along with Opus. Beam reportedly dropped the legal appeal it had filed, which I'm sure was a relief to the city, because it sure did appear to have merit.

The incident was telling, because it showed how precious little the PDC management cared about public input, and how nasty they could be. PDC chair Matt Hennessee (before his little girl problem was made public) and executive director Don Mazziotti (now off in Schnitzerland) were unabashed in flipping the bird to the many members of the community who had spent thousands of hours trying to get the urban renewal agency to do the right thing. In the end, under intense pressure, they reluctantly agreed to do about one quarter of a right thing. Meanwhile, a blogger by the name of The One True b!X had given months of his life to covering the PDC shenanigans with a straight face, showing the emerging power of the internet in local political matters. All the O could give us was Randy Gragg, who as usual did his best to obfuscate the scam, but even he had to admit in the end that Beam had been had.

The bulldozers came and knocked down the old Baloney Joe's building, a derelict structure in more ways than one, in the spring of 2005. They put up a fence and established a vacant lot, which seems to be the hallmark of PDC achievement on the east side.

Fast forward two years. The empty lot is still there. Not a shovel of dirt has been turned. No condos. No retail. Crickets chirping.

After all that, what the heck happened? Is the project dead? Did Opus and Beam find it impossible to work together? Did they run out of money? Have they chickened out of the shaky condo market?

Or are they hanging around waiting for a better deal from the PDC? Does it have to do with the impending Burnside-Couch traffic "couplet" scam? Do the developers have their eyes on some of that fat, juicy federal pork that Earl the Pearl is delivering to make a one-way street out of the widest and busiest street anywhere around?

And now that we're two more years down the path, shouldn't a new look be taken at what's best for that site? All the public process rigamarole that we watched back in the Bad Old Days of the PDC -- how long is the outcome good for? Was there a contract with a deadline for commencement of construction? What was (or is) the deadline?

I doubt that these questions are enough to get b!X back as a full-time blog journalist, but perhaps the folks in the MSM could take a shot at this when they've got some time on their hands.

Mystery mail

A reader out Hillsboro way has a question. She's been getting flyers in her mail attacking her state representative in the Legislature, Chuck Riley. They're coming from unnamed folks who are opposed to the pending "fix" in the Legislature for Ballot Measure 37, the still highly 2004 controversial property rights initiative. She says she's gotten two of these, the second of which looks like this:

She writes:

I have no particular objection to receiving direct mail that I disagree with as far as the expressed political opinion, I simply wish to know who is sending it. I haven’t scanned the reverse of the mailer, however it is essentially the same, except for my name, home address and a return address of PO Box 2619 Salem, Oregon.
I have been saying for a while that the idea of significantly altering Measure 37 is a political third rail, and although I admire the courage of the legislators who are trying to do it, some of them are going to lose their positions on account of it. I hope the Democrats in Salem are getting their agenda through, because their control over the State House could turn out to be short-lived.

Anyway, if anyone out there can enlighten our correspondent as to who her new pen pals might be, I'm sure she'd appreciate hearing about it.

Wonders and signs

This is Portland, Oregon, right -- the city with the killer sign code? The city that can't (or won't) distinguish between a mural and a billboard? The city that charges a fee for you to put out a sign on the sidewalk in front of your business?

Well, man, if that's the case, SW Macadam Avenue must have seceded from Portland quite a while ago.

Take a ride along Macadam in either direction between the SoWhat District and what's left of the Sellwood Bridge, and you'll be besieged with roadside signs advertising the retailers along the road. It seems as though more businesses have them out than don't. Right on the curb, lining the street, on both sides. Those A-frame deals.

This is bad news, on several counts. First, of course, they're ugly. Second, they're a distraction to drivers who already have their eyes on their Blackberry screens, cell phone keypads, dogs, and navigation systems. Third, I seriously doubt that many of the signs are legal; there's no city fee sticker on most of them.

But the most serious issue posed by these placards is the extreme traffic hazard that they pose for vehicles and pedestrians that are trying to enter or (heaven forfend) cross Macadam out of the parking lots of the businesses along the street. If you're sitting in a nice little sustainable four-cylinder car, there's no way you can see over that wall of signs to gauge oncoming traffic, in either direction. Clusters of newspaper distribution boxes right along the curb don't make it any easier.

And the signs keep getting larger. The two that the furniture joint by the Starbucks has slapped up are particularly egregious. When some poor slob gets killed in a collision between Macadam traffic and a vehicle or person exiting the parking lot of the Subway and the Circuit climbing gym, you can say you read about the danger here first.

Who's in charge of the sign code around here -- is it still Fireman Randy? Whoever it is had better send somebody with a ticket book down Macadam, and soon. Or get the medical examiner on standby -- one or the other.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 10

It's time to shake things up on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Environmental Dean was flushed from the island on Friday, but unlike the caffeine-tainted Willamette, our show is starting to lose its pep. Voter turnout is starting to lag. Pretty soon we'll have fewer people participating than in the actual Portland election, which would be a real disgrace. And so our producers have decided that it's time to add a new player to the mix.

Enter Paul -- Paul Scarlett, that is, director of the city Bureau of Development Services. He arrives on the island today, and is immediately included in the Tribal Council vote. With Dean departing and Paul coming on board, the number of city agency heads on the island remains at 9.

Another new feature we're introducing today is Random Immunity. All this week, we'll have our sophisticated computer system randomly pick one player for immunity each night. But the computer's choice will be retroactive: Random Immunity applies to the vote from earlier that same day. And so any player headed for expulsion can luck out and be redeemed by the computer at the last minute. If the player getting the most votes is awarded Random Immunity, the player with the second-most votes is expelled that day. The Random Immunity winner will not be announced until balloting is closed for the night. Sure, that means that your vote may not matter much. Think of it as kind of like the Convention Center expansion.

In addition, we'll continue the practice of granting Media Immunity to any player mentioned in print or online by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg. But that immunity applies only to the day after the media mention. (BTW, there's been no mention of any of our players by that triumvirate of journalistic talent since Thursday, and so no one has Media Immunity today.)

All right, we hope the new features are reasonably clear. If not, perhaps these detailed voter guides will help explain them:

It's time to get down to business. Please vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

If you need a better feel for the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the original cast, and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Paul's photo and bureau link are, of course, provided above. Good luck, players:



Some new rules, but the same game. Who should be the next Portland city bureau chief to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Paul - Development Services Bureau Director Paul Scarlett
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
  
pollcode.com free polls

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another transplant on Pill Hill

I understand they were doing some parts replacement on the OHSU Health Club aerial tram [rim shot] late this afternoon. Bruce Anderholt caught the action in photos, here.

Colossally Bad Idea of the Year (So Far)

Let's make secret a bunch of additional records about where the State of Oregon is investing public money. This one's already through the State Senate and on its way to the House, apparently.

Just what we need -- the Goldschmidt crew's shadowy investment overlords cutting more backroom deals with the Texas Pacific folks, only now with no public scrutiny at all. Funny thing -- no one at the O has thought it important enough to write about. Scam on, people!

Not bad for 50 cents

Acquired at the estate sale around the corner today:

I have been meaning to read this one, but haven't. Put in on the shelf for around November 1, I'd think.

Musical interlude

Read into this one whatever you like.

While you were in Iraq...

... we created a new mid-level manager position right above you. Welcome home!

And now, your heartwarming Mother's Day story

A highly accomplished mom we know sends along this tale:

Jack was a great cat, and the kids would carry him around and sit on him, and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well, we have three kids, and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves Chapstick, LOVES it. He kept asking to use my Chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my Chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to, but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and trying to get ready for church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess, and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my Chapstick very carefully to Jack's... rear end.

Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now, if you have a cat, you know that he is right -- their little butts do look pretty chapped. And frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind, or the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever, because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your Chapstick on the cat's butt.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"The human drama of athletic competition"

I continue to find this one of the more absorbing sports stories of the year.

Get it out of your system

The Beaver jokes will be flowing all weekend. (Actually, they had already started before this.)

It's official: I don't get no respect

I can't believe it, but we're still getting flyers about the Portland charter revision election. People, we already voted! This is the third "no" campaign special to grace our mailbox, and this time it really, really hurt. Check this out:

People they respect (whoever "they" are): Amanda, Dave Lister, even Mr. Streetcar. And the kids at the Merc! But moi? Non.

I do and do and do for this city, and this is the thanks I get. Oh, well.

Hey, I have figured out the most burning issue in this election. How much do "no" campaign strategy genius Mark Wiener and whoever's running the "yes" campaign charge for these?

For a town that's supposed to be so hip and creative-class, that is some tired shinola, people. You wonder why nobody votes in these things? Pass the freakin' Geritol.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sailing through Salem

The state crackdown on overly aggressive parking enforcement by tow truck companies appears to be moving right along.

Oh, and Bertha still hasn't said she's sorry to Sean about his van.

It don't come easy

I see Chris Snethen's new fitness regimen is off to a bumpy start.

Calling Tracy and Anthony

Here we go again. Not having learned a thing from what happened when the Portland Development Commission tried this, the City of Portland "Bureau of Development Services" is now advertising for not one but two outsiders to come in and supply "executive coaching, team-building, and meeting facilitation services for Bureau supervisors and managers on an as needed basis until the end of the contracting period." The price tag: 10 grand apiece.

Save internet radio!

I'm not a big one on petition drives, but I do strongly believe in internet radio -- heck, I even do it myself, sort of. And it's threatened. The least one can do is sign up to say he or she wants to save it. Take a couple of minutes and go here. Yeah, it's a Ron Wyden ad disguised as a petition, but it's still worth expressing a view on this, anywhere one can.

Roundup will not kill them

New real estate scams are popping up like bamboo shoots in Portland this week.

Willamette Week had this one on Wednesday. We pointed out this one in the O the same day. And now there's this one in today's Trib.

Neil's gone -- his PDC crew and Vera, too -- but the beat goes on.

Lawyer advertising reaches new pinnacle

I understand that the neighbors quickly made them take this one down:


For Wyden and Murray, budget committee meetings

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D, usually-Ore.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been named to the House-Senate conference committee that's ironing out key aspects of the fiscal 2008 federal budget. I don't follow these things much, but the identity of the "conferees" was voted on by the whole Senate on Wednesday. The joint committee held a public meeting yesterday, and they're huddling behind closed doors today and over the weekend. (There's no West Coast representation among the House conferees.)

One of the issues they're hassling over is how much of the Bush tax cuts to extend -- and how far -- beyond their current expiration date of 2010. Not all of those cuts are hated by the Democrats. For example, the current child tax credit, the 10 percent income bracket, and "marriage penalty" relief all have bipartisan support. But how far should those supposedly "temporary" provisions get extended for purposes of the present budget? The House conferees are pushing to make any extension of the cuts conditional on a "trigger" -- the tax breaks would be extended only if, in 2010, it looks like federal revenues for 2012 beyond are going to be healthy.

Sound dull? It does to me. The federal budget is a bit of a charade, anyway. But when these meetings hit their driest patches, I imagine that Oregon's senior senator can continue thinking up pairs of names for the twins that he and his wife are expecting this fall. Depends on the genders, of course. Lewis and Clark? Romulus and Remus? Castor and Pollux? George and Ringo? Bonnie and Clyde? Britney and Paris? Tonya and Nancy?

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 9

It was a close race there for a while, but by nightfall the result was clear. Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard was the eighth city bureau chief voted off the island on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Not only has her torch been extinguished, but she also must leave the island immediately, and a memo is being placed in her permanent file.

Wow, it's been quite a ride. Eight agency heads have rolled. It's getting tougher, as some of the more visible bureaucrats have been banished, and we're starting to get down to some players who tend to keep a relatively low profile. But hey, we must shoulder on, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

If you need a better feel for the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the entire original cast and links to all of their bureaus were posted here when the game started, oh so long ago. Good luck, players:



Will's back, Yvonne's gone. Who should be the next city bureau chief to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
  
pollcode.com free polls

Why don't we drop it in the road?

An interesting piece in the Times here about the stuff that winds up on the freeways, wrecking havoc. Read the whole thing, then come back and tell your personal horror story.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

They're different

A friend from Big Sky country points out:

Before going into the ditch on a slippery road, 98% of Americans say, "Oh, sh*t."

The other 2% are from Montana, and they say, "Hold my beer and watch this sh*t."

Survivor going down to the wire again

This time it's a three-way horse race.

Sold down the river

How many tens of millions of dollars have Portland taxpayers spent on the infernal South Waterfront ("SoWhat") district? And what will the final cost to the city's taxpayers be when all the infrastructure is complete -- something like a half-billion?

With that in mind, I'd say that this scene along the Willamette River down there shows the incredible arrogance of the developers:


Photo by Laurel Greenwood

I guess this is the "progressive" Portland brought to you by our beloved city commissioners. It used to be a place where real people lived. That's over now. What a shame.

Is it almost over yet?

The registered Democrat in the house got another one of these today -- the third direct mail from that group:

And again, it's all very confusing, but it has something to do with computers:

Less than a week of this foolishness to go. Thank goodness.

Be sure your meter is well calibrated

A reader passes along this scheduling alert:

Title: Citywide Parks Team meeting
Date: Thursday May 17, 2007
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm...
Location: Portland City Hall, Rose Room (3rd Floor)
Street: 1221 SW 4th Ave
City State Zip: Portland, Oregon
Phone: For more information, call Linda Robinson at 503-261-9566
Notes: Topic is "Disposition of Land". The focus will be on the policy and process for declaring park-owned land as surplus, and for the disposition of that land -- not on any specific property. Guests will be Robin Grimwade and Janet Bebb from Portland Parks.

Looking Presidential

If Obama is elected President, maybe the transition won't be so abrupt after all.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 8

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." So said Dick in Shakespeare's Henry VI Part 2, but it took until Day 7 of Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition for voters to cast City Attorney Linda Meng off the island. Linda, whose photo has eluded us despite a thorough search of the internet, was by far the top vote-getter yesterday. She is hereby ordered to log off Westlaw, pack up her briefcase, and leave the island immediately.

Today's balloting will be affected by our first grant of immunity. City Housing Director Will White (right) was mentioned in an article by Nigel Jaquiss yesterday. And so he'll have immunity on Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy today. That leaves nine bureau chiefs up for a Tribal Council vote, and 10 players left on the island all together. (If anyone is mentioned in print or on line today by Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg, he or she will have immunity tomorrow.)

On with the show -- please vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. The Ultimate Survivor will win our grand prizes: the right to buy a valuable piece of property from the city for a dollar; plus valuable tax credits originally intended for poor people.

If you need a better feel for the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the entire original cast (except for Linda), and links to all of their bureaus, are here. Good luck, players:



Linda's out, and Will has immunity today; thus, there are nine Portland bureau chiefs to choose from. Which one of them should leave the island next?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Our fearless D.A.strikes again

Criminal charges against a Portland public safety officer for literally kicking someone's butt without cause? It's never gonna happen. But if you read the law, and watch the tape, it's not like it would be all that complicated or difficult a case to make out:

ORS 163.160 Assault in the fourth degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if the person:

(a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another; or

(b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon.

(2) Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

* * * * *

ORS 161.209 Use of physical force in defense of a person.

Except as provided in ORS 161.215 and 161.219, a person is justified in using physical force upon another person for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.

Was it "reasonably necessary" for Fire Lt. Robert Bedgood to kick that man after three other firemen had him on the floor? Of course not. But unless and until there's a major change of culture in the county D.A.'s office, even a videotape catching the officer red-handed (or in this case, red-footed) is not enough for charges to be filed:

Deputy district attorney Don Rees said after a nearly four month investigation and review by police and his office, he decided not to prosecute Bedgood because it would be difficult proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he's guilty of a crime.

Bedgood has said he was concerned for the safety of his crew as DeGeorge wrestled to break free -- and protecting others is a legitimate defense, Rees said.

Whatever.

Coincidentally, the next day the city gets around to recommending the firing of a police officer who needlessly shot a man to death. Again, no criminal charges were filed. No criminal charges are ever filed against a cop. Ever. No matter what. Maybe that's the way it is everywhere. It's definitely the way it is in Portland.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Portland on The Times website

Keeping an eye out for the Rose City on the website of the paper of record lately, we find a yoga therapist, the maker of a military drone seaplane, Kate Brown on "crisis pregnancy centers," and an outfit that buys and sells "carbon credits."

I take it all back

My whole attitude toward the Utah Jazz basketball team has changed considerably after watching tonight's game, and witnessing this intense story. If they win their current series against the Golden State Warriors -- a story in their own right -- may the Jazz go all the way.

Fun day with the water people

A reader writes:

Several weeks back you had a passing mention and link to information about the water bureau's field day. I went to the site and signed up and just got back from a great day with city employees. So thank you for putting that brief mention in your blog (I am pretty sure it was your blog I read it in).

I got the chance to ride along with city employees who keep the water
system working and also who really like their jobs and are proud of the work the water bureau does. It was a fun day and very educational.

I did write about it, here. Glad it went well.

Will wins Survivor immunity!

City Housing Director Will White was mentioned in this article by Nigel Jaquiss today. And so he'll have immunity on Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy tomorrow. Now, all of you, back to camp...

Stop the presses

A Portland police officer is being held accountable for his actions in killing someone. It's the guy who shot Squeaky nearly a year and a half ago, and the mayor is recommending that he be given the ax. Maxine Bernstein of the O has the lowdown here.

The mayor's stock just went way up in my book.

Simple Blessing of the Day


Think I'll Pass

At our local Wild Oats store yesterday: "local hydroponic" tomatoes at $4.99 a pound, and shriveled up old cucumbers at $1.99 each.

Something is terribly wrong

On my way home from dropping off my ballot at the Albina branch of the library last evening, I saw in the glare of a brilliant sunset a sight that nearly made me fall off my bicycle:

There on 16th Avenue, where an old house had once stood, it appears that someone is finishing... OMG... a new house that fits in with the style and character of the neighborhood! Not only that -- to my untrained eye, it looks as though it might even be a single-family house. And is that the driveway that they've left intact? As if the people who are going to live there might actually own a motor vehicle?

We all know that this sort of thing is not tolerated in Portland any more. I'm sure the Planning Bureau, the Bureau of Development Services, the Mayor's Office, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Office of Sustainable Development, the Portland State Urban Planning Program, Metro, and the Portland Development Commission will get on this case right away. That monstrosity needs to be red-tagged and demolished immediately in favor of something greener, smarter, and more like Vancouver, B.C. Get your anti-gentrification picket signs ready! And if anybody has the stupid idea of moving kids into that prime infill site, he or she's got another think coming. Go by streetcar -- or else!

Another urban renewal "success" story

Here's what we've all been waiting for -- a huge 24 Hour Fitness club on MLK. The city's appraised the property at $2.2 million, but the Portland Development Commission would sell it to the developers for $600,000. The reason? A fitness club needs a parking garage.

Make sense to you?

Me neither.

But hey, this is urban renewal, where nothing ever makes sense except the private profit.

Oh, and there'd be some sort of shrine to Magic Johnson attached. Maybe that makes it o.k.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 7

Portland may be the home of the "Percent for Art" program, but 27 percent of voters on yesterday's Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition thought it was high time that Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch leave the island. Eloise received more votes against her than any of the other remaining municipal bureau chiefs did. And so leave she must, and immediately. She will receive a consolation prize, however: two season standing-room tickets to the Gerding Theater.

The tally was close. City Attorney Linda Meng (I still can't believe we can't get her photo -- must be attorney-client privilege) trailed Eloise by only a few votes. We'll see how she does today, Day 7, as we're down to the size of a football squad.

And that brings us to our next Tribal Council, in which you, our valued readers, will vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. The Ultimate Survivor will win our grand prizes: the right to buy a valuable piece of property from the city for a dollar; plus valuable tax credits originally intended for poor people.

None of the remaining players was mentioned by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg in the media yesterday, and so no one has immunity today.

If you need a better picture of the players who are up for a vote, remember that photos of the entire original cast (except for Linda), and links to each of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to all the remaining players:



Eloise has left the building, and it's on to Day 7 of Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy. Which city bureau head should leave the island next?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm about to get de-Wiki'ed

I thought I had made it when a reader of this blog set up a Wikipedia page on me. But I see my days in those lofty ranks may be numbered. The page now has a big old box at the top that says:

An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline for Biographies.

If you are familiar with the subject matter, please expand the article to establish its notability. The best way to address this concern is to reference published, third-party sources about the subject. If notability cannot be established, the article is more likely to be considered for deletion, per Wikipedia: Guide to deletion. (See also Wikipedia: Notability.)

This article has been tagged since May 2007.

"Published, third-party sources about the subject." Hmmmm. Don't know if this would count. Or this. How about this?

Anyway, if you're a Wiki editor type, perhaps you could prolong my moment in the spotlight.

UPDATE, 10:23 p.m.: "Ask and ye shall receive." Someone has come in and added some references to the Wiki that have caused the evil box to go away. My sincere thanks to "Fruits" for the prompt action.

Neck and neck

Another close one on today's Survivor.

No substitute for experience

The buzz is that Monica Lewinsky's back in town. Meanwhile, the City of Portland posts this contract opportunity. Coincidence?

Another kind of hunting accident

I don't know if you've been following the D.C. Madam story, but if haven't been, you probably will be soon.

Wanna get away?

The bishop of Spokane is asking Catholics in his diocese to pungle up about $1,000 per family to pay off the sex abuse settlements recently reached with victims of priests and the church bureaucracy. If they don't get the dough from the faithful, the church says it will have to borrow it.

One priest makes a splendid suggestion to his parishioners: Put it on plastic, so that you'll get frequent flyer miles.

Tax spat in the 'Couv

Looks like some folks up north want to take on their port authority at the polls over a pending property tax increase. The O story is here. Most interesting to me is that "[t]here are 124,847 registered voters in the [Port of Vancouver] district, which roughly follows the Vancouver urban growth boundary."

They have an urban growth boundary? Really? Could have fooled me. Where is it -- the summit of Mount Adams to Long Beach, Portland to Centralia?

Mediate this

The continuing mediation between the Portland parks bureau and the public (I kid you not) resumes this evening, according to neighbors of the future home of the Mount Tabor condo towers. They point to this piece in the latest Southeast Examiner newspaper:

For four hours on April 21, community members, including representatives from the Mt. Tabor and South Tabor Neighborhood Associations, met with Portland Parks and Recreation director, Zari Santner, and public involvement official, Gay Greger, for the first in a series of mediation session with mediators, Jamie Damon and Mary Forst. Approximately 25 people were in attendance including representatives from the Brentwood-Darlington and Richmond Neighborhood Associations. The Parks Bureau fostered the sessions as trust building exercises in the wake of the discovery, last fall, of the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Warner Pacific College regarding the sale of Mt. Tabor Park Yard. Two more sessions have been scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 PM at the Tabor Heights United Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark, and Saturday, May 12, 1-5 PM at the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, SE 54th Ave. and Belmont St. The sessions are public meetings, open to all.
The neighbors continue:
Parks/Community Mediation meetings resume tonight and continue on Saturday. The Mediation, which Parks Director, Zari Santner requested take place, is the latest chapter regarding the disposition of Mt. Tabor Park Central Yard, Nursery and Horticultural Services.

The Oregonian today included an article about the city charter and the sale of surplus land, including parkland, using Mt. Tabor Park as an example.

Drop into either meeting at anytime. The setting is informal and It isn't necessary to attend the entire meeting.

If you needed a reason to vote yes on 26-92

Here's one, from today's Trib:

The No on 26-92 Committee that opposes giving the City Council more power over the Portland Development Commission raised $21,600, much of it from PDC-supported developers like Mark Edlen, James Winkler and Walsh Construction.
If you'd like to tell these folks you want them to stop taking so much of your tax dollars out the back door of the PDC, voting yes on Measure 26-92 is one way to do that. It's no guarantee that they'll be stopped, but it's a start. (Unless the Legislature makes it all a moot point, of course.)

Intellectual property law run amok

Not only are they patenting different types of tax planning -- now they're claiming patent and copyright protection for yoga poses. It really has gotten ridiculous.

Milking it

I told you they wouldn't let up on this. But couldn't you fill in the blank with the name of any high school in the state? "[P]olice narcotics investigators warned ________ High School administrators two years ago that some of their students had admitted selling hard drugs on campus, including cocaine and LSD."

Some of their students sell coke and acid on campus? I'm sure that was big news -- not.

What is the best restaurant in Portland?

A tax professor friend of ours from waaaaaay back east (southeast, to be more exact) will be in Portland soon for a conference. He and his spouse are looking for a great restaurant -- the closer to the Governor Hotel, the better, but they're adventuresome enough for a cab ride if it's worth it.

This couple is in their mid-50s and what I would call sophisticated, and so our usual kid-friendly stops are probably not what they have in mind. They are omnivorous. Got any ideas?

Amanda's a-twitter

Blogger and Portland City Council wannabe Amanda Fritz is mightily steamed that, while city voters puzzle over whether to grant the council budget control over the Portland Development Commission, there's a bill working its way through the state Legislature that would give the council that authority -- regardless of how the voters go on Measure 26-92. According to Fritz's post, the bill is pretty sure to pass, and so the whole ballot measure on the subject is highly likely to become a moot point -- in other words, a waste of everyone's time. (Oh, there are a few other things in that measure besides budget control, but they don't amount to a hill of beans.)

If Fritz is right (and she usually is), I'm not surprised. Politicians use public votes to provide an appearance of participatory democracy, when the reality is that the votes often don't matter. If the voters agree with the politicians' position, all the better. If they don't, the politicians just dismiss the vote or ignore it, and do what they want to do anyway.

The most prominent folks behind council control over the PDC budget are Commissioner Erik Sten and his newfound second vote on just about everything, Commissioner Randy Leonard. This issue arose during the height of the squabble between the PDC on the one hand and Sten and Leonard's union buddies on the other, about whether contractors on PDC-backed construction projects had to pay state-set "prevailing wages" to their workers. If I am recalling this correctly, Sten and Leonard were talking last fall and winter about taking the budget control matter to the Legislature, but the story that went around then was that they agreed with the mayor to put the question up for a public vote, and live with the consequences.

Maybe not. Maybe there's some sort of double-cross going on here. Or maybe I'm mixing this issue up with some other.

In any case, Amanda's angst is all part of the ugliest little election we've seen in the Rose City in many, many years. Thank goodness it will be over next Tuesday night.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 6

She had some strong defenders in our comments section over the past week, but when the most recent Tribal Council votes were counted, Transportation Sue was gone. Portland City Transportation Office Director Sue Keil was the fifth bureau chief bounced from the island on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. The vote was close -- 21 percent for Transportation Sue, 17 percent for Linda (City Attorney Linda Meng), and 15 percent for Eloise (Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch).

Be that as it may, Transportation Sue's road to the title of Ultimate Survivor has hit the cosmic speed bump, her torch has been snuffed out, and she's to leave the island immediately. Go by aerial tram [rim shot]!

Which brings us to Tribal Council No. 6, in which readers will vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. None of the remaining players was mentioned by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg in the media yesterday, and so no one has immunity today.

If you need a better picture of the players up for a vote, remember that photos of the entire cast (except one camera-shy member), and links to each of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to all the remaining players:



Many have fallen; a dozen remain. Which Portland bureaucrat should be the next to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Our mad, mad, mad world

There was a time when this would have been funny. But now it just seems more dark and sad.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What attracts the most spam

There are actual academic studies on this now.

Survivor update

Today's vote in Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition is running closer than the Kentucky Derby.

Give them a foot

Portland Mayor Tom Potter is setting up some more of his famed 10-minute meetings with local residents. The e-mail announcing the latest round really caught my eye for the way it abbreviated the time interval:

Event: 10" Community Mtg w/Mayor in Powellhurst/Gilbert

Pizza Baron, 2604 SE 122nd
Saturday, May, 12 2007 @ 2:30 PM

I couldn't tell if the 10" part referred to the pizza, or what.

Echo in here

Last week when I accused the O of being a "derivative" paper, I caught grief. Here's another example: Hurricane Vicki. An inventive nickname, but hardly so ingrained that you should use it without attribution. Come on, give credit to the folks who coined it.

Let's complain to the O's public editor! No, wait...

Looks good to them

Here's a piece on the Rose City out of Friday's L.A. Times. The print edition ran it under the headline "Wired for Weird."

Those stone tablets are copyrighted

Have you ever heard the Voice of God? I have, but never in a way that violated the intellectual property laws.

Civic duty

It's time for us to get on with the voting in the "special election" that closes on Tuesday the 15th (a week from tomorrow). Before we get any more coffee stains on our ballots, it's time to do our thing with the no. 2 pencil. We'll be busy, since under the Oregon vote-by-mail system we've got to fill out ballots for friends, deceased relatives, and people who used to live in our house, as well as for ourselves. (Our cat Ralphie is insisting on doing his own; his younger brother, Billy, is not old enough to vote.)

The City of Portland charter changes are the big issues this time around. We're voting yes on the PDC budget change -- Measure 26-92 -- because the more sunlight thrown on that pork barrel, the better. It's not that I think that people like Opie and Fireman Randy are going to make a difference when it comes to what the "urban renewal" agency does, but rather that the additional scrutiny mandated by this measure may occasionally alert the public to some new scam in the making -- in time to put a stop to it.

As for the other three city measures, they're all pretty crummy ideas, and we're voting no. It's not that the current system of city government has all that much to be said in its defense. If, for example, somebody came to us with term limits and election by district for the City Council, we'd be all for it. But neither of those ideas are before us, and the Powers That Be would probably kill them if they were.

What we are passing on this time is not a pretty picture. More power to people like Vera Katz? More backroom hiring and firing of city workers? And more rounds of charter change nonsense every few years, like clockwork? No thanks.

In the school board election, we're going with Adkins and Wynde. The latter is not a slam-dunk, but like the Double Dub, we think he's done an acceptable job and will balance off an Adkins. On the Multnomah educational service district, we'd like to vote to abolish it, but since that option isn't offered, we're going with Okamura and Gratton.

Cyberhash

I see that the editorial board of the O has started up a blog. Of sorts. But apparently it's not just the editorial board's blog, because there are also letters and op-ed stuff from other people -- material that presumably didn't make the cut for the print edition of the newspaper and the "main" opinion section of OregonLive. What a painful way for prose to die.

Oh, and the editorial board's blog is not to be confused with the editors' blog, which is something totally different, you see. Is it just me, or does the hash that is OregonLive just get denser and denser by the week? You could try to figure it out, but in two weeks they'll dig some more mouse holes and rebury everything somewhere new. You'll never find anything.

One interesting aspect of the new blog is that if they publish your letter there, they'll apparently also be nice enough to run your home address and telephone number and e-mail address, so that your new friends out in cyberspace can have fun with you.

The URL address of the new blog is:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/oregonianopinion/.

What, was hopeless.org already taken?

Don't get me wrong, most of the O reporters who are pounding their beats every day are doing a fine job. But the folks in the private offices? Dinosaurs staring at the death star.

Their own nests

Those tireless public servants who are running our country have given themselves quite a pay raise.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 5

Sustainable Susan's tenure on the island wasn't... well, sustainable. And so she, Portland Office of Sustainable Development Director Susan Anderson, became the fourth city bureau manager voted out of our continuing online game, Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Unlike recyclables, which leave the premises only once a week, Susan is to pack her things and leave the island immediately. The producers of Survivor will pay for her transportation as far as Arlington.

The first week of the competition was revealing, with Zari Santner of Parks, Bruce Warner of the PDC, Gil Kelley of Planning, and Anderson being ejected, in that order. Thirteen bureau chiefs remain in the mix as we continue along toward the title of Ultimate Survivor. Five of those will depart this week. None of the remaining players was mentioned by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg in the media since last Thursday, and thus, no one has immunity today.

So here we are at Tribal Council No. 5, where readers can vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives.

If you need a better picture of the players up for a vote, remember that photos of the entire cast (except one camera-shy member), and links to each of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to all the remaining players:



Four down, 12 to go before the Ultimate Survivor is crowned. Which Portland bureaucrat should be the next to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Transportation Sue - Office of Transportation Director Sue Keil
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

One of ours

Interesting piece in yesterday's Times real estate section on "The Guy Who Picks the Best Places to Live." Did you know he lives and works right here in Portland?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The salad bar won't make much difference, either

This headline on KGW's website has been up since last night.

Before there was Woodstock...

... there was Bullfrog.

Tough night in Houston

Not that I usually have much sympathy for folks in Bush-land, but I do feel badly for the Houston Rockets basketball team, which lost the seventh game of its best-of-seven series with the Utah Jazz last night, 103-99. It was the sixth time in his career that Rockets star Tracy McGrady has been on a team that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. After the contest, which his team lost on its home court, McGrady could barely speak, he was so shattered.

T-Mac's co-star, Yao Ming, didn't have what it took at the end of the game. Utah definitely got to him. Yao's neither fast nor athletic by NBA standards -- just gigantic -- and his team could have used some speed and quickness down the stretch.

I'm not surprised that Houston didn't go all the way, but I expected them to get further than this. I would be surprised if Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy comes back to Houston next season. I suspect he'll be coaching some team back east before too long.

Watching the Jazz play is liking watching the old East German Olympic teams in the Soviet days. Guys like Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, Gordan Giricek, Matt Harpring. So... you know... Caucasian. Perfect for Salt Lake City. Now they'll play the Golden State Warriors, whose on-court lineups tend to look quite a bit different. It promises to be a particularly loud series, as fans in both Oakland and Salt Lake have been starved for success for many years. Golden State has shown some hot tempers, which could make for interesting viewing when they're in Utah. In any event, whoever wins that series will probably be eliminated by San Antonio or Phoenix in the Western Conference finals.

Utah against San Antonio would be a particularly deadly finals to have to watch, whereas Phoenix vs. Golden State would be a screamer, with scores like 140-139. It's hard to predict who will wind up in that matchup. My best guesses would be Phoenix and Utah.

Over in the East, Detroit will mow down the Bulls, and then clobber whoever comes out of the New Jersey-Cleveland series. With Chris Webber added to the already strong Motown mix, and playing like he cares, Detroit seems a lock for the league finals. And if the Western Conference champ comes into that series beat up and tired (which seems likely), Detroit will win itself another trophy.

But best of all: Kobe, Shaq, and Phil Jackson are now but distant memories.

More charter porn

The two camps in the pending vote to change the City of Portland charter sent us some more glossy brochures this weekend. They're a slight improvement in quality from the original mailings -- which were laughably misleading -- but this is still the dopiest election I can remember around here.

The first to arrive was the latest from the "yes" camp on Measure 26-91 -- Mayor Tom Potter presiding. This showed up Friday, addressed only to the Mrs., who's a registered Democrat. Note the reasons given for changing the form of government:

Don't you love it? This time they're at least hinting at the issues -- that's an improvement. The last mailer we got from this crew made it sound as though 26-91 was about buying a new computer system.

The prominent talk about the OHSU Health Club aerial tram [rim shot] is interesting. The polls must be showing what a heavy negative opinion the average Portlander has of the Floating Twinkies -- so bad that they're at the top of the list of justifications for ripping the very system of government out by the roots.

Nice try, Mayor. You too, ex-Mayor Vera Katz, another supporter of this change. But come on. The reasons we got the tram have nothing to do with the form of government. We got the tram because (a) Neil Goldschmidt and Homer Williams sweet-talked, cajoled, and bullied Vera into it, even though everyone, including she, knew the budget they were presenting was a blatant fake; and (b) Potter, when he took office and had the clear opportunity to kill the project, didn't have the guts or the smarts to do it.

I hate the tram, but I know why we got it. Playing on people's disappointment over it to get this completely unrelated charter change passed shows just how weak the arguments for this ballot measure are. We don't need a "strong mayor" form of government as much as we need a wise and courageous mayor.

Not that the other side's winning any prizes for persuasiveness. Today the mailman brought a new nugget of Wiener-ism from the gang that wants a no vote on the form of government proposal -- the Stennies and the public employees' unions. This brochure was addressed to both voters in the household, and it was styled as "2007 Voters Guide -- Portland Charter Edition." Once again, the Portland waterfront dominates the illustrations, although this time, they've deleted the picture of George Bush for all the progressives to hate on.

This "guide" urges two no votes and one yes vote:

To their credit, this group has finally gotten around to addressing the issues, although obviously not in an unbiased way. Like the pro-change camp, however, the opponents also seek to prey on resentment of the current state of urban renewal in our fair city:

Remember, this is coming from an anti-change campaign spearheaded by Commissioners Sten and Leonard, who, despite their occasional acts of feigned rebellion, are the fat cat developers' best friends when the chips are down. The two of them are controlled by the municipal workers' unions as well, which makes the "special interests" accusation rather humorous.

In any event, on the prospect of instituting a regularly scheduled charter review (measure 26-89), the "accountability" group says it has no recommendation. Given the junk campaign that this round of charter proposals has produced, I'd say Portland would best be served by not repeating this exercise again any time soon. If you need to see a reason to vote no on 26-89, just open your mailbox.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Good cipherin'

I'm trying to teach myself elementary statistics, having passed on it in college in favor of translating ancient Greek poetry. Fortunately, I had good math teachers in high school -- great ones, the more I think about it -- and that part of it's not so bad.

Tonight, when called upon to calculate the square root of a number, I ran right over to my pocket calculator. But then I thought, "Hey, I used to know how to do this by hand!" Did I remember how? Of course not. But God bless Google, within a few minutes I was here, where it all came back to me.

The next level of understanding would be to think about this for a while, and work out in one's mind why this system works. But hey, it's late, and I've got my number.

What took them so long?

Now available on the internets: The Oregon Divorce Blog.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Today's tip

When sending a death threat to a judge, use a fake return address.

New sales tax pitch: It's "sustainable"

My state senator, Avel Gordly, really thinks Oregon should have a retail sales tax. She's been pushing it for years. Now as the end of the legislative session in Salem is almost in sight, she and other like-minded solons are cranking up the volume on this issue. Fair enough.

But their latest spiel, which I just got by e-mail, has some real howlers in it. They're calling it "tax reform and restructuring," and the phrase "sales tax" appears nowhere in the message. And guess why we need a sales tax. Here's an excerpt:

Your Slice of the Pie at the Expense of Another’s

If you are advocating for a particular slice of the state budgetary pie, please be mindful that the principal reason that the slice you are concerned about is smaller than you would like, or is missing an ingredient or two, is because the whole pie itself is inadequate to serve the current and future needs of Oregonians and of Oregon.

All of the budgets we are considering today are inadequate and unsustainable!

I want to encourage you to increase your advocacy beyond having an adequate slice of pie for your plate and move to advocating for a whole pie -- with all of the necessary ingredients -- that is both adequate for Oregon and all Oregonians and that is sustainable.

That whole, sustainable pie is achievable only through tax reform and restructuring!

Without tax reform and restructuring, Oregon will remain locked in a perpetual struggle between competing interests for slices of a pie that contains half of the flour it needs and is missing most of the berries… does this metaphor describe our state’s budgetary situation from your perspective? I suspect that it does.

It goes on, but you get the idea.

"Sustainable" is the new sex. It's being used to sell everything.

Count on it

A friend writes:

This coming Sunday morning, May 6, 2007, at three minutes and four seconds after two o'clock a.m., the time will be [check it out]:

02:03.04, 05/06/07.

Just thought you should know. Don't miss it! ;-)

Think I'll Pass

Time to crank up our new feature, Think I'll Pass. Twenty-eight dollars for a burger? I can't go for that, even with the money I saved by cancelling my subscription to a derivative newspaper.

For the birds

A reader writes:

Check out this OregonLive article: http://tinyurl.com/2knbdn.

It's all about the cool and nifty "Raptor Cam," a webcam that lets people look at two local nesting red-tail hawks as they raise their young. True, it sounds cool. The problem? It is an on-line article about a webcam, and it doesn't have...a link to the webcam! Man, talk about the perfect illustration of how the folks over there just don't get it. You can practically hear them thinking, "But people will click on the link and not come back!" Which, really, should tell them something, no?

It ain't the same

I miss the Portland Freelancer.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 4

Just as the lovable Randy Gragg was announcing that he's leaving The Oregonian, one of his favorite people, Portland Planning Bureau Director Gil Kelley, was being voted off the island here on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Apparently Gil's path to success as the Ultimate Survivor was blocked by a wall of 30-story condo towers. Once again, the verdict of the Tribal Council was clear, and whether he planned for it or not, Gil must leave the island immediately. He is instructed to return to the Gerding Edlen trailer for redeployment as infill on their staff of governmental skid-greasers.

That leaves 14 city bureau chiefs still in the running for the title. None of the players was mentioned by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Gragg in yesterday's media, and so no one has immunity today.

Which brings us to Tribal Council No. 4, where we could finally have a close one. Readers, it's time to vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. The balloting for this round will close overnight tonight, and we'll resume the game Monday morning.

As always, photos of the entire cast (except one camera-shy member), and links to each of their bureaus, are here. Good luck to all the remaining players:



Godspeed, Gil. Now it's Day 4 on Survivor: Bureaucracy. Who should be the next city bureau chief to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Transportation Sue - Office of Transportation Director Sue Keil
Sustainable Susan - Office of Sustainable Development Director Susan Anderson
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Feds to Tri-Met: Give it up

When you're more manipulative with information than the Bush administration, that's pretty bad.

Free legal advice for bloggers

Keeping in mind that usually, you get what you pay for, this is interesting nonetheless.

Mission accomplished

The soul of Portland has been sold to California. Now this gunslinger can move on.

And now, your moment of Zen


It's a pandemic

I see that our neighbors to the north are getting sucked into the condo scam game. And by a developer weasel from San Diego, no less!

I love this part:

The city also made commitments to the developer.

Its obligations include constructing a bridge from 41st Street, overseeing the relocation of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks, constructing a roundabout and tearing down an existing animal shelter.

The extra work is expected to cost between $30 million and $45 million.

That's on top of the $48.2 million in public money already spent on buying and cleaning up the site.

"They are based on rough estimates," said city spokeswoman Kate Reardon.

Now that's funny.

Time to pick up the dusty old six-string and strum out a mournful old favorite:

Where have all the dollars gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the dollars gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the dollars gone?
Gone for condos every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Go-between

I see The New York Times has a new public editor. The old one's two-year stint has come to a close. One of the interesting issues he's written about lately was whether the Times should publish the name of the stripper in he Duke lacrosse players case, whose accusations have proven to be unfounded.

Which reminds me that our local daily print newspaper in Portland still does not have a public editor, does it? It needs fresh oversight from an experienced outsider journalist.

I wouldn't charge too much.

Big man in town

Happy birthday to Newark-born crooner Frankie Valli, leader of the legendary singing group the Four Seasons -- a dominant force in Top 40 rock throughout the 1960's. He also had a nifty little solo gig after he split from the group. Depending on who you ask, he's either 70 or 73 today.

More of nothing

Good news -- the free Portland wi-fi cloud has expanded. Now it doesn't work over an even larger area! Another spectacular success from the keen mind of You-Know-Who. (Now lying low until Mark Wiener tells him he can be mayor.)

Be not proud, Oregon

Did you realize that we are one of 19 states that impose an income tax on people living below the federal poverty level?

A carbon footprint -- on your face

We had already heard that the OHSU aerial tram cars [rim shot] were unventilated stinkies, but apparently that concept applies to the new land facilities in the SoWhat district as well. A optometry patient writes about that facility:

Both my husband and I are absolutely stunned by the disastrous lack of ventilation in the underground parking garage. One can hardly breathe down there. Even worse, the elevators fill with all that exhaust, and bring it to the floors above. If you walk in front of the elevators on the main floor, you just about choke on the car exhaust.

It's pretty outrageous that an entity dedicated to improving people's health would build a structure which continually fills the lungs of people working or visiting that building with car exhaust.

Where do we apply pressure to get them to address this shoddy mess?

I don't know, ma'am.

A great Portland product*

For Christmas we got a bottle of Aviation Gin, made right here in the Rose City. It took a while for us to get into it, but once we did, it disappeared quickly.

Yesterday Aviation got a pretty nice mention in The New York Times. In an article reviewing 20 gins, Eric Asimov noted that Aviation was one of the "newer, hipper" versions of that beverage on the market, and remarked about its anise, vanilla, and wintergreen notes. Alas, the Times panel thought that made for a bad martini ingredient, but drunk straight or with tonic, it was first-rate, according to the customers at our house.

* - If you're old enough and don't have problems with alcohol.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 3

It's been a tough few days for Bruce Warner, executive director of the Portland Development Commission (PDC). First his agency's rank-and-file employees vote to form a union; then, even worse, he's voted off the island on Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Yesterday's second-round vote was not close. It's unclear whether it was he or his agency that drew the wrath of the Tribal Council, but either way, Bruce's torch has been snuffed out, and he's to leave the island immediately. Go by streetcar!

That leaves 15 city bureau chiefs still contending for the title of Ultimate Survivor, and still in the running for our grand prizes: the chance to buy a prime piece of real estate from the city for a dollar, plus tax credits that were originally meant to help poor people. None of the players was mentioned by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg in yesterday's media, and so no one has immunity today.

Which brings us to Tribal Council No. 3, where things should start to get a bit more interesting. Vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. As always, photos of the entire cast (except one camera-shy member), and links to each of their bureaus, are here.



Bruce has joined Zari in exile, and it's Day 3 of Survivor: Bureaucracy. Who should be the next city bureau chief to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Gil - Planning Bureau Director Gil Kelley
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Transportation Sue - Office of Transportation Director Sue Keil
Sustainable Susan - Office of Sustainable Development Director Susan Anderson
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

John Edwards on the Park Blocks

Photos here.

Just what the Episcopalians need right now

A sideshow.

Jackie Edwards, war, peace, and your ride home

There's an impromptu rally being thrown together in downtown Portland at 5:15 this afternoon to protest Bush's veto of the Iraq pullout deadline bill. Headlining the speeches will be John Edwards, who to me is this country's best candidate to succeed Bush.

The event is being held on the South Park Blocks in front of the Art Museum. Please allow yourself extra time to get through that area. Hastily called events tend not to include as many mainstream protesters as those that are scheduled far in advance. But the anarchist types who have nothing to do but be ugly always seem to find time in their busy schedules. Let's hope the rally is peaceful and forceful at the same time.

Not acceptable

In commenting on the proposed changes to garbage and recycling pickup procedures in Portland, Amanda Fritz writes:

On my unit at OHSU (yeah, the organization with the famed super-green building in South Waterfront), the only recycling available is for confidential papers that need to be shredded. No regular paper recycling (so I often end up putting paper in the expensive to-be-shredded bin), no plastic bottle recycling, not even a mechanism to return soda bottles with deposits. That's pitiful, in 2007.
It is indeed.

Rudy on the Environment

In a word: abysmal.

Be proud, Portland

Blazer Brandon Roy is this year's NBA Rookie of the Year.

Blowing the whistle

Are pro basketball referees racially biased in their foul calls?

Too many cooks?

While putting together Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy, I had to take a closer look at the city government's current organizational chart than I ever have before. And I'm puzzled. Here are five agencies whose work I would have thought could have been handled by three, or even two:

Sustainable Development
Development Commission
Development Services
Planning Bureau
Environmental Services

Could it be that we're a little silo-heavy in these areas? I can see lots of room for "synergies" and "economies of scale" there, people.

Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Tribal Council No. 2

The tribe has spoken, loud and clear, in the first-round balloting in Survivor Portland City Hall: Bureaucracy Edition. Zari Santner, director of the Parks and Recreation Bureau, was the clear-cut choice for the first agency head to leave the game. Apparently the tribe was unhappy with a secret alliance she had formed, and a plan that the alliance had hatched to sell off part of the island before the other tribal members knew what hit them. An attempt at mediation just made matters worse.

Zari's torch has been extinguished, and she is to leave the island immediately. She will, however, be contacted by Homer Williams's development firm in Los Angeles, where she'll be offered a nice compensation package.

That leaves 16 bureacrats in the running for the Ultimate Survivor, and given the lack of a mention of any of them by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg in yesterday's media, none of them have immunity today. (Stanford did mention the real, TV version of Survivor, but that doesn't do any of our contestants any good.)

So let's move right along, readers, with Tribal Council No. 2. Vote another one of the city bureau directors out of the picture. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but do it just once a day, please. (Was that some ballot-stuffing last night by people at home who had already voted at work during the day? Tsk, tsk.) We'll keep at this, every city workday, until only one bureaucrat survives. If you're stumped, remember that photos of the entire cast (except one camera-shy member), and links to each of their bureaus, are here.



Zari's in the wind, and it's now Day 2 of "Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy." Who should be the next city honcho to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Bruce - Portland Development Commission Executive Director Bruce Warner
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Gil - Planning Bureau Director Gil Kelley
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Transportation Sue - Office of Transportation Director Sue Keil
Sustainable Susan - Office of Sustainable Development Director Susan Anderson
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
  
pollcode.com free polls

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

PDC workers vote for union

According to the O, the vote was 63 to 50.

Bad times in Lincoln City

The jinx continues.

Throw Away the Key Dept., cont'd

Here's what Jammin' 95 produces. But since we're not going to lock up Paul Allen any time soon, our only choice is to warehouse that kid for many years. So be it.

It's Law Day

Today's Times says it best:

As long as there was a national consensus about the importance of the rule of law, Law Day felt superfluous, like celebrating gravity. But for six years now, the rule of law has been under attack. An array of doctrines has emerged to undermine it, like the enemy combatant doctrine, which says people can be held indefinitely without trial, and the unitary executive doctrine, which insists that a president can do as he wants in many areas, no matter what Congress says.

In keeping with tradition, President Bush has issued a proclamation inviting Americans today to "celebrate the Constitution and the laws that protect our rights and liberties." It rings more than a little hollow, though, as he continues to trample on civil liberties in the war on terror, and stands by an attorney general who has politicized the Justice Department to a shocking degree.

The less committed a president is to the law, the more need there is for Law Day, which makes it a holiday whose time has come.

Tribal Council No. 1

Well, it's time to get busy on Survivor: Portland Bureaucracy. Here's our first tribal council -- your chance to vote one of 17 City of Portland bureau chiefs off the island. Do it for any reason, or for no reason, but you may vote for only one. The complete cast (with links to each of their offices) is here. Since none of the contestants was mentioned by name yesterday in any writing by Nigel Jaquiss, Phil Stanford, or Randy Gragg, no one's got immunity today.

We'll eliminate one contestant overnight, and play again each workday until only one Ultimate Survivor is standing unchallenged. Please vote only once in each poll. Good luck to everyone!

It's Day 1 of "Survivor: Bureaucracy," and we've got 17 bureau chiefs up for a vote. Who should be the first one to leave the island?
Amalia - Office of Neighborhood Involvement Director Amalia Alarcon
Bruce - Portland Development Commission Executive Director Bruce Warner
Chief Dave - Fire Chief Dave Sprando
Water Dave - Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff
Dean - Environmental Services Bureau Director Dean Marriott
Eloise - Regional Arts and Culture Council Director Eloise Damrosch
Gil - Planning Bureau Director Gil Kelley
Ken - Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ken Rust
Linda - City Attorney Linda Meng
Lisa - Emergency Communications Bureau Director Lisa Turley
Rosie - Police Chief Rosie Sizer
Revenue Sue - Revenue Bureau Director Sue Klobertanz
Transportation Sue - Office of Transportation Director Sue Keil
Sustainable Susan - Office of Sustainable Development Director Susan Anderson
Will - Housing and Community Development Bureau Director William White
Yvonne - Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard
Zari - Parks Bureau Director Zari Santner
  
pollcode.com free polls

Not obvious to me

The U.S. Supreme Court let loose with a couple of big-time opinions about patent law yesterday. My colleague Joe Miller is all over them, of course. His blog is here.

Scalia goes YouTube

Well, not exactly. But yesterday as part of deciding a case about police liability for a car chase that ended in a crash that seriously injured the fleeing suspect, the U.S. Supreme Court posted on its website the police video of the chase. The case is called Scott v. Harris, and links to the opinion as well as to the video (92 MB) can be found on this page. Alas, the file requires Real Player for viewing, and I'm not going there.

The new Portland garbage deal

It's garbage and recycling pickup morning on our block, and coincidentally, there's an interesting piece in the O about impending changes to solid waste disposal practices in Portland. According to the story, the ubiquitous yellow bins in which we do curbside recycling are scheduled to disappear, to be replaced by large rolling carts. Under the new system, the need to separate types of recycling would be minimized, and at least one new category of plastic would be added to the list of those suitable for recycling. On the downside, recycling would become mandatory; the monthly bill for garbage pickup would go up by a few dollars to cover the costs of the changes; and there's talk of making garbage pickup a biweekly, rather than a weekly, affair.

The official executive summary of what the city is thinking about is (pdf) here. A much longer version of the proposals is here.

We're fairly religious about recycling at our place, and so mechanically, not a lot would change for us on account of the proposed new features. Some plastic things, which we currently schlep to the nearby Wild Oats store, could go out to the curb on Monday nights instead. Today's article says that "yogurt containers" will become curbside-recyclable; by this I assume they mean no. 5 plastic tubs. Great. The other thing we take to Wild Oats every couple of months is our collection of no. 2 plastic bags -- it would be nice if our garbage hauler could recycle those for us as well. Any plastic item with a neck for a twist-cap already already gets recycled at our curb, and of course the plastic water bottles lying in that particular bin these days are soon going back to the store for a deposit, anyway.

The O story emphasizes that under the new system, there would be less need for the consumer to separate out various types of recyclables. That's a surprising assertion, because under the current Portland system, very little separation is required. Assuming we're not talking about used motor oil here, the only separation required right now is that paper items (a broad category) go in one bin, glass in another, and everything else that's recyclable in a third. Under the new system, glass will still have to be separated, and so all that would be eliminated is separating paper from everything else -- to me, a minimal inconvenience.

Ah, but the roll carts would be a wonderful touch. I'd love to have one large covered bin outside into which we could throw all the recycling stuff (except for the glass). As it stands now, we keep everything recyclable inside until the night before garbage day, because otherwise it gets miserably wet, attracts pests, or both. If it could all go promptly outside into one big barrelful as soon as it's outlived its usefulness, that would make life easier. And the 65-gallon capacity they're talking about is a pretty big recycling bin.

There's also talk of having yard debris picked up every week, instead of every other week as is done currently. That one also surprises me. We have a fairly typical Portland yard, and even in peak gardening season, we generate only about 40 to 50 gallons of yard debris a week. We have a 90-gallon big rolling cart that takes care of our needs quite well on an every-other-week schedule. Once all the leaves are picked up in the fall, we generate very little by way of yard debris until spring, and during that time, we could get by with a pickup of, say, once every three weeks, or even once a month. And of course, all that junky infill housing we're letting the developers build in Portland has very little by way of a yard, and so I would think the volume of yard debris in these parts is going down, not up.

But they're also talking about eventually picking up food scraps and food-soiled paper separately from ordinary garbage as well, and this would apparently be done at the same time and in the same bin as the yard debris (ick!). Now, at our house, most unused vegetable matter is currently composted with the help of a large colony of hungry redworms that occupies our composting bin. Only meat and grains wind up in the garbage. I can't imagine that separating the food scraps from everything else is going to be much fun, and it could make for a logjam under the kitchen sink. We're not going to carry each plate out to the yard debris bin to scrape it off after a meal, that's for sure.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm so fascinated with this topic, but I am. In a prior life, I think I must have been a garbage collector. Speaking of which, have you read about this guy yet?


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
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

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: 280
At this date last year: 129
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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