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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2008 1:21 PM. The previous post in this blog was Poster child. The next post in this blog is Election porn: a steady flow. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

It's official: SoWhat is broke

Sam "the Tram" Adams, frontrunner to be the next mayor of Portland, admitted recently that the city doesn't have the money to pay for the many projects that it has promised developers it will deliver in the infamous SoWhat district. The only way to make good on those contracts is with the help of federal and state bailouts:

If the federal and state money isn't forthcoming, it looks as though the city will have to default on its responsibilities under the SoWhat agreements.

That ought to be fun.

Comments (53)

Oh, I see. SoWa was to protect single family homes - not to help the rich and powerful up at OHSU. Got it!
You know why he keeps moving his arms around when he talks? To keep from sinking in his own BS.

What does he mutter under his breath at the last minute? He looks like Portland's Nixon up there.

To piggy-back Bills' comment; how does SoWhat protect single family neighborhoods? Is Sam saying SoWhat keeps high density from happening in Kenton and Ladd's Addition?

Newsflash Sam, high density is a mandate you champion and enforce in every Portland neighborhood!!

Come on, give the guy credit. He's showing off his ability to dodge a question and lie at the same time!

SoWhat is hanging over every household in Portland. Saying it protects single family homes is like saying the Tram protects the single family homes it hangs over. It's ridiculous.

He mutters at the end " Did they buy that stinking pile."

What does he mutter under his breath at the last minute?

"oh come on."

c'mon, Sam--let's work as if we were living in the early days of a better nation. is this what passes for hope and idealism? or for that matter, honesty?

The problems with SoWa are "well-known and well-documented"

Dear god, my head is still spinning after listening to him. He lies about SoWa being obvious and then says he doing this crap to protect Laurelhurst. Use the SDCs from SoWa to pay for improvements - So that means SDCs will be running about $60K per unit.

How do you manage to lie twice and then say you are doing it to protect someone else. This guy is a sociopath.

Steve - he's not a sociopath, he's Portland's next mayor!

Not if my vote has anything to say about it.

I bought tix to the CGW show today. I wonder if/how this topic will come up? This is my first CGW--I wonder if the show will help me make a decision????

Incredible.

Let's see if 4/18 at City Club if someone can successfully ask Sam Adams to clearly state that SoWa is 'underwater'.

What does he mutter under his breath at the last minute?

"...but it would be wrong."

Sam is saying that it doesn't matter how much SoWa or the rest of PDC planing costs. Although he doesn't want the PDC to come clean on exactly what that cost is. He'd rather people just not know those details. But vote for him anyway.

This is plannning?

SoWa is around $300 million short of meeting minimum expectations, visions and agreements.

According to ODOT, under the best case scenario the district will create a new traffic choke point bringing about F ratings effecting I-5, Barbur, 43/Macadam, Ross Island Bridge and the Selwwood Bridge.

The riverbank greenway and parks will have to be be cutback.

OHSU will not be able to meet their aggrement to build a new parking garage and building and their SoWa campus is on hold indefinetly.

Affordable housing will require additional major subsidizing.

Basic services will lose nearly a billion dollars over the next 25 years.


Sam said he worked with TriMet to lobby for the $250 million for Milwaukie light rail.

Well that's pretty slick of Sam to toss that in there. Since it has absolutely nothing to do with SoWa. It was never part of the SoWa budget or plan. And has nothing to do with funding SoWa or "protecting neighborhoods".

In FACT with that new light rail line to Milwaukie will come even more subsidized SoWa-like spending that is not funded.
New plans will emerge with the same cooked up estimates and revenue forcasts to promote this development Sam says is protecting Laurelhurs.

Sam should have just said well you aint seen nothing yet. We're going to dig an even deeper hole with more streetcars, light rail and development we like. So we'll need new taxes for this and to backfill basic services we are plundering.

I wonder how he's going to pay for the $650 million maintenence backlog when he's mayor.

Perhaps one of his fans can shed some wisdom on us.

Sam the Tram finally admits SoWhat is broke, but he still doesn't know how broke. You'd think a mayoral candidate who's been around city hall for the last sixteen years and closely involved with SoWhat would know.

Here's the debt numbers as posted in a longer format before.

SoWhats Tax Increment Financing maximum debt is $289M for public improvements. Approximately $89M has been spent in TIF dollars.

SoWhat future projects as identified in URAC/PDC documents are as follow.

Transportation: nine projects $314M
(not including lightrail in SoWhat)

Parks, Open Space, Greenway:
four projects $52M

Affordable Housing: $86.5M

Development Opportunity Fund/ $59M
Economic Development

Gibb St. Pedestrian Bridge $12M

Lowell St. Pedestrian Bridge $12M

North Portal/Naito Parkway $60M

Total: $595.5M

Less $200 Million TIF available -$395.5M

There are not that many federal, state dollars available to cover even a small portion of this $395.5 MILLION DOLLAR DEBT.

Now what is Sam's debt solution? He has no solution but to save our neighborhoods from density and to use $485 Million taxpayers money to do so. Hasn't most of Portland's neighborhoods experienced large increases in density? When did we ever vote on this METRO edict of four times density?

Good thing we got 10,000 new biotech jobs.

Otherwise it would be tough to justify all those State of Oregon and City of Portland subsidies for some half empty condo towers.

Thanks Kulo! Way to shake up City Hall, Sammy!

And a "Thanks" to Jim Karlock for asking the question, video taping the Q&A and providng a copy to Jack.

Portland complaints are so fun to read-- oh if only my city had such problems! Seriously, was Portland better off when this neighborhood was a contaminated industrial wasteland?

The ad hominem attacks on this guy Adams are rather beside the point, but oh well, I guess that's the internet for you.

But I have to ask, in what sense are these "debts"? Some commenters seem to be upset that these things won't get built, and others seem to be complaining that they are doomed to be built at vast expense. But I didn't hear Adams saying his plan was to have the city borrow all the money.-- ie, to create a debt-- and go full speed ahead. A debt is an obligation; there's no obligation here. Plans change with changing circumstances.

Commenters also seem confused as to whether they are complaining about rich people being subsidized, or rich people being screwed by big SDCs. Which is it, guys?

Calm down, take a breath, and stop calling your city politicos liars. That's the worst kind of blogosphere twaddle. You live in one of the cleanest, safest, richest, and best organized cities on the continent; if you genuinely participate in the civic discussion, instead of just carping and ranting about imaginary crises, you might even begin to enjoy it.

I wonder if "huh?" is Sam Adams writing from his office computer.

It's funny how Sho generously handed the question over to Sam, then politely declined to give a followup.

Translation: This turd is in Scam's pocket and there is no reason I need to touch it.

A debt is an obligation; there's no obligation here.

Errr, there's those many "development agreements" the city has signed. You might want to take a look at those...

if you genuinely participate in the civic discussion,

Funny thing, you showed up and commented here, now, didn't you?

Huh look Huh,

That neighborhood, 130 acres of SoWa was NOT and is NOT contaminated industrial wasteland. Some of it was a partial brownfield of little significance.

What the nighborhood was is stagnated by city rule that it had to be a BIG towering plan or nothing.

The attacks on Adams' leadership and politicking are deserved many times over as he had his hands in the scheme making for years.
And he's used the internet himself, with his own blog, to distribute rather comical falsehoods.

So that's the internet for him too, Huh?

The vast majority of SoWa like most other Urban Renewal Schemes are debt spending with property taxes being divereted for decades to retire the debt.
The SoWa plan was perpetrated by low balled estimates of public improvement projects and inflated revenue forecasts.

Basic services are having their budgets siphoned to pay for this primarily private development. Already millions from PDOT and parks general fund budgets have been diverted as well. Now we learn 100s of milionis from other sources will follow.

Honestly if all you know about this is a few false impressions why are you chiming in and criticising those who are familliar with it?

Adams hasn't the slightest idea how this BIG hole will be funded. He's talking out the die of his pie hole. He doesn;t even care how it's funded or what it costs.
There is no cost that he deems too high.

He has no plan for anything.

Nearly every project is as far over budget as the Tram and the current maximum borrowing capacity has been exceeded. The debt is an obligation. We about to see a money grab for more "obligations" as Adams and company recklessly panic in the election year.

Huh, plans change with changing circumstances?

Hey that's good. Have you sent that to Sam?

"You live in one of the cleanest, safest, richest, and best organized cities on the continent.."

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

Other than homicides, Portland has a worse crime rate than the rest of the country.

http://portlandor.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

And rich?

Portland's per capita income ranked 71st-highest among all metro areas in 2004.

http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00004995

Portland's unemployment rate is higher than the rest of the country.

http://www.worldstar.com/~pdxpro/employ.html

Quit acting like Portland is some sort of Eden. Oregon is a beautiful state, but Portland is a drag on it -- not an enhancement.

Dear Huh?
What we're doing here is trying to save Portland from ruin. Even a great country can be driven down if the leadership makes a bunch of dumb, expensive moves for dubious reasons. I also think there's a moral component of diverting public revenue to help the rich instead of the least among us. Why were we so hellbent to subsidize the condo market when it was already hot? What was that about?
To answer your question: Portland may easily reach a time when we look back on that "contaminated industrial wasteland" as the good old days - the days before SoWhat helped take the city into bankruptcy.
Just as we might reach a day when we wish we could have back the 3 trillion Iraq will end up costing.
But I suppose you'd say, "Don't carp. Just learn to enjoy it."

I did a transcript:

Me:
I've heard that the city has a lot of obligations to build things in this neighborhood, the green way is one, the pedestrian bridge is another, and those same people are telling me that the city is, in essence, out of money to build those. Can you gimme insight into how financially secure the city's promises to do additional things in this neighborhood are. Do they they have the money to do what they promised.

Commissioner Adams:
No.
The short answer is no. And that's well known and well documented. We're in the process, on the transportation side, we're in the process of looking at a self funding approach for South Waterfront based on system development charges for transportation that would be raised here in the neighborhood and spent here in the neighborhood. But that's not going to be enough, and no one should try to tell you otherwise, they would be so high you would find them intolerable. The fact of the matter is, is this neighborhood, when fully built, protects existing single family Portland neighborhoods, by taking our fair share, which we've agreed to under the Metro 2040 plan within the region. I believe in keeping the urban growth boundary where its at, protecting farm and forest land, dense neighborhoods like this help us do that. Help's protect single family neighborhoods like Laurlhurst and Kenton, where I live in North Portland, and so we do have a commitment to you but we're gonna need help from the state and we're gonna need help from the Federal government. I worked hard with Trimet to lobby for the 250 million dollars contribution to the light rail. That kind of lobbying is gonna have to continue and hopefully we'll have more of it with the new administration in Washington D.C.

Thanks
JK

Other than homicides, Portland has a worse crime rate than the rest of the country.

Heh. Really?

I tend to think the lack of homocides are kind of important to the overall crime rate.

Justin, your odds of becoming a victim of homicide are quite low (even in big cities) if you pursue a low risk lifestyle (avoid prostitution, drugs, fighting, public intoxication).

You are much more likely to be involved in an injury car accident than become a murder victim.

That said, my car has been broken into (twice) and my house was robbed by meth addicts. Identity theft/check fraud followed: they caught the bad guy (a habitual offender for the past 12 years), and he got 9 months in jail. He'll likely serve six, and be reoffending by July. His accomplice (a 21 hear old meth addict) got probation.

Lock your doors, because Portland/MultCo jails are full, and the bad guys know it.

And Sam Adams doesn't give a rip.

"the nighborhood was ... stagnated by city rule that it had to be a BIG towering plan or nothing."

Ben is 100% right, and this is an important point. Portland didn't need to spend hundreds of millions on SoWa. There was, 10 or 15 years ago, great private interest in developing the district into a lower density residential / commercial / industrial area, without any substantial public money.

What would have been wrong with that? Lower density could have supported OHSU expansion, but without the need to build nearly as much new infrastructure. The district could actually have fostered new businesses. Instead, with the highest rental rates in Oregon, and massive development charges and useage fees on the horizon, nobody in their right mind will do business in the district without perpetual subsidies.

Look, I get that Portland has a lot of property crime.

However, when you say that Portland has a high crime rate, except for you know, the lack of murders. It sounds kind of ridiculous.

If I have to choose between a high property crime rate or a high murder rate, I'm going with the high property crime rate. I can always replace my stereo. My beating heart, not so much.

Guess what happens when you catch the property offenders in the act?

Reading these posts makes me AGAIN 100% pleased with my decision to get the heck outta Portland. Come to the burbs of Lake O. and West Linn folks! The grass IS GREENER on the other side.

Instead of debating on what type of crime is "better" than another, we get to celebrate which beautiful city park or school is better than another. And, I know that my tax monies at least go to services that make sense.

Save yourself!

Oh but you're not safe out LO/WL way.
Metro has a far reach and directs the Portland game region wide. Among other maneuvers, look for Metro to take over Portland's bridges and grab your money to pay for them.
You got a trolley and more development schemes coming your way too.

Someone help me understand Sam's explanation that without SoWa the established neighborhoods of Laurelhurst and Kenton would have increased density and, by implication, be ruined (Right? Because SoWa 'protected' those neighborhoods?). Wouldn't increasing density in those neighborhoods require changes to existing zoning AND require homeowners to raze their homes to make way for duplexes, condos, apartments, etc.?

Is Sam saying that without SoWa he would have pushed for zoning changes to these established neighborhoods so that these beautiful single-family residential neighborhoods could be ruined forever? I don't understand Sam....

The neighborhood used to support medium and heavy industry. It could easily have been redeveloped on the scale of Johns Landing to the south (roughly between Hamilton Street and Carolina Street on the east side of Macadam), which was a redevelopment 35 years ago of a similar industrial area. It would include today one- and two-story townhouses, a few restaurants, and three-floor office buildings.

we're in the process of looking at a self funding approach for South Waterfront based on system development charges for transportation that would be raised here in the neighborhood and spent here in the neighborhood.

Huh? So what exactly did he say? System development charges for transportation? Could an Adams supporter please give me an example of what he's talking about?


Ben is 100% right, and this is an important point. Portland didn't need to spend hundreds of millions on SoWa. There was, 10 or 15 years ago, great private interest in developing the district into a lower density residential / commercial / industrial area, without any substantial public money. What would have been wrong with that?

What's wrong with that? You mean letting the free market find its own equilibrium without socialism for the rich (and a few scraps for the poor in the way of low-income housing)? You mean true capitalism, where capitalists weigh options and take the risks instead of the tax payers? Why that's not progressive, that's not Portland. This would immediately stop being a great place to live if we did that. Snow might stop falling on Mt. Hood. The salmon might not return to spawn. Roses might never bloom again in Washington Park.

"However, when you say that Portland has a high crime rate, except for you know, the lack of murders. It sounds kind of ridiculous..."

Oh so Portland's high rape and assault rate are of no importance to you? What about robbery? Violent crime doesn't only encompass murder, Pookie.

Justin, I realize you love Portland. I'm sure the prevailing sociopolitical attitudes found concentrated mainly on the east side is a perfect environment for you. However, the fact that Portland's government has become co-opted by overwrought environmental policy and the Goldschmidt set cannot be denied.

Justin, I realize you love Portland.

Heh. Well, I do like Portland. But I actually live in DC, as it's tough to start a career in Portland.

And DC actally does have a high homicide rate. Can you imagine if one of our politicans said, "Other than homicides, DC is a really safe city."

We'd laugh at them.

Any one who think Portland isn't safer than most US cities on average should leave this little rain-soaked bubble and actually see the rest of the US before you make stupid statements. Go to Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Boston, etc.. and then see how safe Portland is.

r. james: Someone help me understand Sam's explanation that without SoWa the established neighborhoods of Laurelhurst and Kenton would have increased density and, by implication, be ruined (Right? Because SoWa 'protected' those neighborhoods?).

JK: The claim is that the city of Portland is going to get 300,000 more people int the near future. He is claiming that, by taking 5000 people, that will somehow reduce the number people being jammed into your neighborhood. It would take 60 of those condo tower compounds to take all of those people.

r. james: Wouldn't increasing density in those neighborhoods require changes to existing zoning AND require homeowners to raze their homes to make way for duplexes, condos, apartments, etc.?
JK: Cruze around inner NE Portland - notice all the skinny houses crammed on every vacant side lot? And the three story row houses in the middle of a block of single story homes? That is what is happening and probably what Sam was referring to. A lot of these lots were sold as 2500 sq. ft. and people bought two or more to build on. That means that there are (were?) Many side lots and gardens already legal to build on. Oh, they “accidentally” forgot to include a minimum buildable lot size for R5 zones when they revised the code a few years ago. I don’t recall if they actually fixed that or not - I know it was an issue.

My opinion is that it will continue until we pass some initiatives to stop it. Probably by taking the control of zoning out of the reach of the planning class.

r. james: Is Sam saying that without SoWa he would have pushed for zoning changes to these established neighborhoods so that these beautiful single-family residential neighborhoods could be ruined forever? I don't understand Sam....
JK: See above. In many cases the zoning already allows added density. And Metro mandates that neighborhoods be built to 80% of the max allowed density. Metro also demands that cities allow infill, so every backyard and every side yard is a candidate for more density.

Those 300,000 new people is one new person for every two currently here. That is one new house for every two (on one condo for every two real homes.)

In my neighborhood, with about 20 homes per square block, that may one added 10 unit condo (probably four story) per block. If they tear down two homes for the condo compound, then it will have to be 12 units - possibly three floors of four condos each above parking.

And there will be 50% more cars on our already over crowded, roads.

Thanks
JK

The City of Portland population is growing at about 1% a year. In 2040, there will likely be about 200,000 more people in the city than there are now. And we have 32 years to accommodate them all. Right now population grows by less than 6,000 people per year.

Jack Bog: The City of Portland population is growing at about 1% a year. In 2040, there will likely be about 200,000 more people in the city than there are now.
JK: The number Sam used in the city club speech was 300,000 by 2035, allegedly based on the whiz kids at Metro.

I question where all these people are going to come from, as many cities have similar projections and our national birth rate is right around replacement. The UN’s medium scenario shows the developed world population essentially flat from the year 2000 and world population leveling out at about 50% above year 2000 by 2050. See: un.org/esa/population/publications/longrange2/2004worldpop2300reportfinalc.pdf page 20.

Jack Bog: And we have 32 years to accommodate them all.
JK: That’s why we have get right on building streetcars all over town and line our main streets with condo towers. (you can’t let such an opportunity to reward campaign donors slip away.)

Jack Bog: Right now population grows by less than 6,000 people per year.
JK: Yeah, the county’s most livable city seems to NOT be getting as many new people as the other area cities. As someone said, Oregon’s fastest growing county is Clark County. Wanna guess how long before Portland actually starts shrinking?

Thanks
JK

I am amazed that an expatriate Oregonian living in D.C. would even have the balls to admit he couldn't pursue his chosen career path in God's Country.

Who cares about the homicide rate when you can't find a job, eh?

And why wax poetic about what a fine job Tram Boy is doing you aren't navigating his potholes and fighting his new taxes in the real world?

I wonder why Metro is projecting (maybe they are really promoting to protect their planning jobs) another 1 million people for the metro area by 2030? If LA is bad as they claim, then why do they advocate, promote the kind of density of LA.

METRO and CoP should be promoting "sustainable growth" which might mean the 1% level.

A new thinking process needs to be implemented. Let Homer move to LA to build and prosper.

I'm sort of astonished by what I'm reading here. You people are even attacking a guy because he had a hard time finding a job in Portland. Have you tried breaking into the entry-level market here in the last few years? It is damned hard. When I posted a notice for an administrative job opening last year, I got over 100 applicants, and well over 75% were vastly overqualified -- PhDs, JDs, MBAs, etc. So lay off Justin. He had difficulty here precisely because so many young people are moving here that the talent pool is teeming. We should be saying, "Wow -- lots of smart people want to live here. That's a good thing." Just because Justin has a different point of view doesn't mean you have to resort to petty attacks.

As far as Sam/SoWhat goes, I'm pretty certain that if Sam had answered this question, "Yes, we have money for SoWhat, don't let anyone tell you different," you folks would have teed off on him just as harshly. It also seems to me that you're willfully ignoring the fact that targeting new developments as high density in order to protect the character of single-family neighborhoods is exactly what the public asks for repeatedly. Anyone remember the uproar over the 4 story condo building on NE 15th in Irvington, a block N of Broadway? That's NIMBY, people. We can have the density, just not here. Find somewhere else for it. Okay, how about SoWhat? Lot's of room to plan down there. Oh, but that's favoring the wealthy developers. Right. Guess we can't have it both ways.

Hey -- here's an idea. Instead of sniping at what's gone wrong and what's sure to go wrong later, why not offer your own ideas for how to fix this? And yes, it is a problem. Thousands of people will move here in the next 30 years. Who cares if it's 200,000 or 300,000 -- it's still a ton of people, and we still need to plan for them. Investing in public transportation is smart, unless you actually want Portland's traffic to start turning into LA's.

By the way, LW, Los Angeles doesn't actually have a high-density residential population. They have sprawl. Everyone seems to agree we don't want that here -- right?

By the way...Los Angeles doesn't actually have a high-density residential population. They have sprawl....

Well actually, if you looked at urbanized area density, instead of just the few towers in downtown, the Pearl and SoWhat, you would find that L.A. has a density of over 7,000 people per square mile, more than twice that of Portland.

This is why pejorative terms like sprawl have no relevance in actual problem-solving.

Fighting "sprawl" is the excuse for every sdtupid thing our planning regime does.

Uh, I actually really like living in DC. I'm not here just because of the job.

I think it's easier to raise a family in Portland, which is why I ultimately hope to move back. But as a single guy in DC, I'm loving it. Four professional sports teams, a high female-male ratio, few hippie chicks, lots of high-paying jobs, and a fantastic mass transit system. ...good times...

Greg: , I got over 100 applicants, and well over 75% were vastly overqualified -- PhDs, JDs, MBAs, etc.
JK: Sounds like Portland is over hyped if all these PhDs, JDs, MBAs are coming here jobless. Or maybe a degree isn’t what it used to be.

Greg: So lay off Justin. He had difficulty here precisely because so many young people are moving here that the talent pool is teeming.
JK: It seems a little strange that someone living in DC would be on a Portland blog. Makes you wonder if he has a financial stake in Portland’s crazy mistakes.

Greg: As far as Sam/SoWhat goes, I'm pretty certain that if Sam had answered this question, "Yes, we have money for SoWhat, don't let anyone tell you different," you folks would have teed off on him just as harshly.
JK: Let me take this opportunity to say “thanks, Sam, for telling us the truth”. Had he said no problem we would be calling him out.

You see, we know something that you apparently don’t: The So What has been a disaster from the very start. You just weren’t paying attention:
1. Years ago the financial projections were laughable. It just took a casual browse to see that every assumption was best case.
2. Their traffic plan is laughable. It assumes that all those upscale people will leave their BMWs in the garage and take the toy train for ½ of their trips. Laughable to expect upscale people to waste their valuable time on transit. Laughable to expect transit usage in that little future slum to be as high as New York’s central city.
3. Lack of money for various aspects of the project has been reported several times.

Greg: It also seems to me that you're willfully ignoring the fact that targeting new developments as high density in order to protect the character of single-family neighborhoods is exactly what the public asks for repeatedly.
JK: No they aren’t:
1. We overwhelmingly voted against more density in our neighborhoods a few years ago.
2. Most are also opposed to spending over $100,000 subsidy for millionaire condos - let them build high density some where else. but don’t expect the rest of us to pay for it.

The official line is that there will be $200 mil of public money in the SoWhat. Double that for interest. For 5000 units that is $100,000 public money per unit. Double that for over-runs and you have enough money to build real houses and just give them away in most parts of the country. The cost of real houses is more in Portland because of our artificial shortage of land cause by Metro’s urban containment policy.

Greg: Guess we can't have it both ways.
JK: You are right here - we can’t have both an urban containment policy and protect our neighborhoods. It is time to tear down Metro’s wall.

Greg: Hey -- here's an idea. Instead of sniping at what's gone wrong and what's sure to go wrong later, why not offer your own ideas for how to fix this? And yes, it is a problem. Thousands of people will move here in the next 30 years. Who cares if it's 200,000 or 300,000 -- it's still a ton of people, and we still need to plan for them.
JK: Simple. Let them locate in new housing on currently vacant land, like we used to do, before Metro decided to “emulate Los Angeles”

Greg: Investing in public transportation is smart, unless you actually want Portland's traffic to start turning into LA's.
JK: Mass transit does not relieve congestion - too few people have the time to waste using it. The sole exception is to downtown, which is no longer particularly relevant to the region. LA has bad congestion because they have few lane-miles of freeway per capita. A goal that Metro has adopted for Portland.

Greg: By the way, LW, Los Angeles doesn't actually have a high-density residential population. They have sprawl. Everyone seems to agree we don't want that here -- right?
JK: Please study a bit before making such stupid statements. Los Angeles is the densest urban area in the country. That means that it has the least sprawl - they just have a lot of people. (It does, however, have a less dense central core than New York.)

Thanks
JK

Anyone remember the uproar over the 4 story condo building on NE 15th in
Irvington, a block N of Broadway? That's NIMBY, people.

Six stories. Two blocks from Broadway. Next to a historic building.

But hey, lie on. It's the Sam Adams way.

Greg, your comment on LA density is a sad commentary if you work for METRO or CoP Planning. Some posters here know so little of what they write, except to regurgitate the local planners play book. MJ is right, LA density is over twice Portland's.

"Lie on"? I make an honest mistake about a fact, and I'm called a liar? Wow. Nice rhetorical work, professor. I can see now why the kids love you.

I don't work for Metro or the City of Portland or any of your other apparently favorite targets. But I did live in LA for a long time. And I can assure you, JK, that there is unchecked, substandard development in all directions, which most of us call sprawl. Perhaps I miffed it on the density question, which is fair, but apparently, you did, too: The fine folks at the US Census Bureau say that New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington DC, five cities in New Jersey, and a suburb of Detroit all have more people per square mile than LA. I may be a "liar," and my comments may be "stupid" and have "no relevance," but I do know how to use the Google.

Hey, look at me -- I'm getting the hang of the "insult the other posters" style of play here at Jack Bog's Blog! This is fun!

By the way, why didn't Sho take the opportunity at the end of Sam's answer to the SoWhat question to separate himself from the issue and offer a new way of looking at it? Wait -- never mind. Steve Duin answered that for me in his column last week. You guys all read Steve religiously, right?

Um, I think the simple answer is that by increasing density a great deal in key areas you drain demand from adjacent areas and that makes sense within a supply demand framework.

Light industrial has been fleeing the west waterfront and west side of town long before they became trendy places to live. I remember driving underneath the old concrete connector to the fremont bridge, it was like scenes from Ft Apache: The Bronx. Vast empty fields of concrete with an occasionally active building supply store or warehouse. While I personally could not live in any kind of building that did not offer immediate access to the outside, I understand the desire of some folks to pay someone else to do the maintenance and soak in a great view.

We forget that considering economic growth figures that make us panic now seem laughably small in retrospect: The development of SW Market and SW Harrison were considered incredibly expensive in their day but the real estate value and tax base derived made the original cost trivial.

I do not pretend to have complete understanding of PDoT's budget inputs but I do know that it is frequently in error to say we can't afford the new when we can't maintain the old, they are usually entirely different pots of money driven by federal urban policy.

As for potholes; no one wants to pay the real price of patching, let alone rebuilding infrastructure that in some cases 70 years old. It is a problem every American city with massive growth between 1900-1950 have to deal with.


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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

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: 212
At this date last year: 60
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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