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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 2, 2008 6:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Wood products. The next post in this blog is When it's time for leavin', I hope you'll understand. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

He's not there

We've long since given up trying to figure out all the shifty moves made by some of the Portland city commissioners. Guys like Erik Sten and Sam Adams are always creating false facades and manipulating people and circumstances to fit their weird political ends.

Take Sten's mysterious retirement. Somehow, we're supposed to believe that a guy who's living in a recently purchased $1-million-plus West Hills mansion (and owning another high-end house in Irvington) on a City Council salary,* with a spouse in a nonprofit job and child care to deal with, is quitting the council to contemplate his navel, with no firm commitment to or from a future employer. Yeah, right. And the sheep that pass for our local mainstream media just baaaa along.

Adams is even worse. He can't do much of anything without jerking people around. The word "trust" most definitely does not cross one's mind when watching the guy at work. A reader whom we have a greater tendency to trust sends along a recent example, involving the hare-brained (and most probably illegal) Sten scheme to use Pearl District property taxes to build a new school in the David Douglas School District:

[I]nteresting that Commissioner Adams arranged to be "absent" for the City Council vote that authorized the creation of satellite districts (he was in the council chambers mingling with the crowd, and nobody called him up to vote... just marked him "absent"). He then voted for the resolution to urge the PDC to consider a David Douglas satellite district, if the PDC does satellite districts.
If that's true, it was like his vote on the Holladay Park senior citizen project -- "I'll tell you who wins, but this doesn't set a precedent for me." Jerking people around at every turn, and reserving the right to do so for the indefinite future.

When he's mayor, he'll melt the whole town down. Go by streetcar!

* - And just to show you the kind of job our local media is doing, just try to find the Portland city commissioners' current salaries on line. Happy hunting.

UPDATE, 10:13 a.m.: A reader e-mails to suggest that "the 'satellite urban renewal' stunt is a backroom scheme to get a school built in the Pearl District." That sounds crazy, but it would be typical coming from this council.

UPDATE, 3:09 p.m.: As if they read my mind, Willy Week gave the Stenmeister's salary (rounded) today, here.

Comments (21)

Commissioner salaries can be found on-line pretty easily. Just look them up in the budget document. This is Sten's:
City Commissioner 93,348

Don't forget they get something like an automatic 4% raise each year (so they don't have to do the embarassing public vote on this.)

In addition, Randy pulls in $50K/yr and Potter is something liek $100K/yr in retirement benefits, so double-dipping still rules.

To be fair to Erik, I think he inherited a bunch of money to buy the other house.

To be fair to Adams, I agree with Mr Bog.

I am so poor.

I think he inherited a bunch of money to buy the other house.

Other readers suggest that a large mortgage was involved.

"Other readers suggest that a large mortgage was involved."

Looked it up - you're right. Then again, he works for CoP, so wouldn't you expect him to learn to leverage beyond his means?

I and a cast of others help delay the street maintenance fee with the big help of Mayor Potter but Portland Cityhall is looking like a lost cause. Now city planners have grand plans to plaster the entire eastside with streetcars, competing with or replacing a pretty good existing bus system. Why is the city not thinking instead about conserving local and state capital dollars for things like fixing roads, helping out on the Sellwood bridge which brings certain benefits to PDX, or getting high valued real estate back on the property tax roles so the School district can repair buildings and allow more school choice to give children more educational resources? But the Portland electorate just doesn't show the same skepticism towards its local and state governments as it does toward the federal government. It's hopeless in PDX.

Bob, you make a great point . . . if any of these ideas were pitched by the Bush administration, heads would be rolling in the street right next to the streetcars. Just goes to show that local, neighborhood career politicians are just as out of touch as those 3,000 miles away.

wasn't yesterday (4/1) Erik Sten's last day in office? or was that an April Fool's joke?

Sam Adams is to Portland Transportation what Browny was to FEMA.

Only less talented and a bigger liar.

wasn't yesterday (4/1) Erik Sten's last day in office?


From 2007/08 Budget (online):

Mayor $104,976
Saltzman $93,348
Leonard $93,348
Adams $88,416
Sten $93,348

Multiply by about 20-25% to get fringe benefits (educated guess).

The above is what was budgeted for salary this fiscal year. Current actual salary probably differs from the numbers above - but probably not by much.

This is interesting - Sam Adam's website lists 15 members of his team. The budget only shows 7.5 budgeted positions. I wonder if transporation dollars are paying for any of the surplus 7.5 folks? I wonder if that's legal? Gas tax revenues have restricted uses.

Why streetcar Portland?

For the developers, of course:

Charlie Hales, Portland City Commissioner: “Often, not always, often, light rail or streetcar push the community in a development direction that we want to go and buses don’t seem to add much momentum to that change. (Northwest Illustrated, KOIN-TV, Oct 7, 2001.)

Mike Burton, Metro Executive Officer: (Referring to the Interstate Ave. light rail line): ”the opportunity to develop along that line is just absolutely incredible” (Emphasis added, Northwest Illustrated, KOIN-TV, Oct 7, 2001.)

Sam Adams, Portland commissioner: “I believe we should plan to accommodate our share of projected regional growth ... 300,000 more Portlanders ... within ¼ mile of all existing and to-be-planned streetcar and light rail transit stops ... Because it will simultaneously encourage responsible, transit-supportive development. What would Portland look like .. it would look a lot like Portland circa 1920 - a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes.” (City Club Speech July 20, 2007)

From “Develpoment Oriented Transit” a publication of the PDC: Development oriented transit supports improved livability for high density environments that support public goals for urban containment, sustainable living and reduced dependence on an automobile . But higher density development does not always mean a more "livable" community . In the case of development near Streetcar; however, the package includes parallel public and private efforts.

(, page 5)

See more at:
And the video:,Burton,CharlesClips-short.wmv

PS: Did you notice that we have a goal that includes "urban containment,". Does this remind anyone of the first step towards an, East Berlin style, Portland Wall?


Looks like Opie's Fellowship with Living Cities is payback from his ol' pal Marshall Runkel, who's "One Economy" (a "Global non-profit") founder (Ben Hecht) is now the Executive Director of

Quid pro quo? Well, maybe (maybe not), but one of Sten's last public acts was a $50k grant to Hacienda CDC, which is a One Economy "partner". Some coincidence if Sten's fellowship was $50k, doncha think?

Hellooooo: where's our Pulitzer Prize winning weekly when a little investigative journalism beckons?

"Does this remind anyone of the first step towards an, East Berlin style, Portland Wall?"


Addendum to earlier post:

Appearently Scott missed this:



JK, you can't invoke an image like the Berlin Wall without invoking the entire image . . . which in this case involves horrifying murder. Don't get cranky because someone calls you on your shoddy writing.

PDX's land-use rules comparable to the Berlin Wall? Please. That analogy is shrill and repugnant.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
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Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
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Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
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Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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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
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
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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
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
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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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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