What rhymes with "antlers"?
We're on the mailing lists for all sorts of communiques from the City of Portland. Lately we got two city bureau newsletters -- one from the Bureau of Development Services (which I think is what they used to call the building permit office), and the other from the Water Bureau. They make an interesting contrast.
The BDS version, which bears the hopelessly Kafkaesque title "The Plans Examiner," is a grim two-color affair, mostly covering wonkish news that only bureaucrats and developers could love:
Bureau of Development Services Director, Paul Scarlett, recently announced a major restructuring of the bureau’s Inspections Division. The Inspections Division is the largest division within BDS and has approximately 100 positions that coordinate and perform over 210,000 permit inspections yearly on one and two family residences, multifamily dwellings, and commercial and industrial construction projects in Portland and the urban services areas of Multnomah County.Still with us? Then there's this:
The restructuring will split the division in two, resulting in a Commercial Division and a Residential Division. Additionally, the bureau will add a second Division Manager position. These changes will allow the bureau to more adequately address the supervision needs of staff and programs, focus on new innovations that cater to residential and commercial customers and ensure that the bureau continues to provide efficient inspection services.
Ah, well. Later in the issue we see more evidence of Portland's diversity:
The Bureau of Development Services recently added three more handouts to the translated materials available online. The three handouts were translated into Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese and include:"Change of Occupancy" -- now in Russian! Woo hoo! What? No Klingon?
• Windows #10
• Broken Sewer and Drain Lines #7
• Change of Occupancy #30
Actually, there is one bit of news in there that has the potential to become interesting, eventually:
The Bureau of Development Services is beginning the creation of a local building code amendment that would require sustainable elements to be included in the construction of a building. While BDS will review and evaluate other codes that have been approved or are being used in other parts of the country, there is not a set concept about how the local amendment might look.The Water Bureau newsletter, "Bull Run Dispatch," is much more fun. It's in full color, and there are entertaining features such as a limerick contest honoring the famous elk fountain downtown. You've got three weeks to come up with a choice limerick about that landmark, donated to the city by former Mayor David Thompson in 1900.
The Water Bureau newsletter also has a matching quiz about various fountains that the bureau maintains around town, along with some interesting features about some of them. Now, that's edu-tainment.
Read and enjoy both publications, Portlanders -- you paid for them.