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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 24, 2008 3:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was SoWhat disaster news reaches Salem. The next post in this blog is Is Google Street View a child predator's delight?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Borrowed time

It's just a matter of time before Portland hits this stage. Big Pipe, cop pensions, water system revamp, Sellwood Bridge replacement, new county courthouse, the list goes on. Not to mention what will happen if there's a big earthquake. But in the meantime, ooooooooh lookie, streetcars... shiny!

Comments (19)

I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago or so, Jack.

I heard Governor Schwartznegger was given the authority to drop state employee wages/salaries down to the $10 per hour minimum wage level, because California state finds itself to be under a massive revenue deficit - something like an annual budget deficit of $15-plus billion. Maybe state employee unions might not be so keen to increase program spending beyond inflation as they have been for the last several decades. Maybe they might also want to make the economy a more important issue than the environment.

The legacy of the Big Dig project is a stark one. Your "dig" on streetcars simply reflects your personal bias though, given that they cost peanuts in the larger picture. The project we should be asking big questions about is the Columbia River Crossing, a single project with a price tag of about 1/4 the cost of the Big Dig. This project virtually guarantees financial obligations we can't meet.

Big Pipe, cop pensions, water system revamp, Sellwood Bridge replacement, new county courthouse,

Try to read the posts before commenting. Thank you.

They will just close the Sellwood Bridge: there's no money for building automotive bridges.

Fprtunately, they did find $1.4 billion for a brand new light rail and bike bridge.

Now if we just figure out how to get all those delivery trucks and emergency vehicles onto MAX.

Shhh, Mr Tee. I stand to make a bundle of money taking people all the way around via the Ross Island, when they finally close the Sellwood bridge. This includes deliveries and sick/injured people headed to, from and between various hospitals, of course.

I'm only being halfway sarcastic here.

Of course, the traffic nightmare that will immediately ensue when that bridge is gone with make the money moot. I mean, what good is money when you are miserable ?

And miserable traffic is headed straight at us like a runaway streetcar...

One overall problem with our local, state and federal government projects is the inability of elected officials and government bureaucrats to have any sense of real cost or the character to tell the truth when they do know the real cost. And due to the lack of accountability, when there are cost overruns, no one is FIRED.

Who got fired over the cost overrun of the OHSU Tram (somewhere around $40 million)?
Who was/will be fired for the cost overruns in South Macadam infrastructure debacle (in the $100's of millions)?

Who will be fired over the cost overruns for the Eastside Lightrail?
Who will be fired when the citizens of Portland demand the replacement of the worn out Sellwood Bridge and Sam Adams sat on his hands, doing nothing?
Who will be fired when the Columbia River Crossing is over budget and doesn't effectively meet the needs of interstate commerce as well as the needs of Vancouver/Portland commuters?

Carol, as much as I would like to see the people responsible pay for their irreponsible actions I fear that they would only leave after prolonged litigation and with a golden parachute that you and I would be paying for.

Closing the Sellwood Bridge would be a capital idea. It would make a nice bikeway. Maybe then some pressure would be brought to bear to fix/replace it.

This is probably the inevitable result when you spend generations electing narcissists to high public office who have no real-world experience.

This is probably the inevitable result when you spend generations electing narcissists to high public office who have no real-world experience.

Something else on your mind?

"bringing the total to a staggering $22 billion" Now that's a real number. I find myself unable to get passionate on one side or the other over the CRC (freight movement good commuters bad), however, I have heard people talk about burying the 5 as the only way to add lanes south of the river. If a wider bridge and a possible tunnel are in anyway connected, then let's stop now.

NW Portlander,
How stupid of me... I forgot, Portland is where incompetent school Superintendents and ineffective bureaucrats who are allowed to "resign" walk away with tens of thousands of dollars in severance.

Then again, maybe we should fire the people who write up those stupid contracts? (And yes, I've already thought about the corporate golden parachutes, but that's up to their stockholders.)

...but oooooo,look at Sam's shiny new toy train...

". . . when there are cost overruns, no one is FIRED."

The time for firing past with the last city election. The elected officials, at least in this town, are the decision-makers, with the decisions typically coming first, the rationale and support for the decisions following. Don't blame the bureaucrats, they bring the rock their bosses, the elected decision-makers, tell them to bring.

Seems ironic that one of the Big Dig contractors, Kiewit is also a primary contractor for Portland's Big Pipe. Coincidence?

A major part of the Big Dig story is the debt costs on the project. At least in this article they are recognizing that debt cost can kill you. But not in Portland.

PDC still insists that you don't list the probable debt cost on their projects. Just recently and the past several years this issue as been brought to the attention of PDC by URAC committees and subcommittees. PDC just merely says "we don't include debt costs." Period.

Last week in a SoWhat Budget Committee meeting when discussing why none of the required affordable housing projects aren't built or even on the drawing boards for SoWhat, the answer is that their is no money. Added to that troubling chart was that the debt cost wasn't even listed. "We don't do that."

SoWhat is heading for another Big Dig outcome.

In Portland, every politician's project must be an iconic "postcard."

1. The "Emerald Gate" [=honk=] better known as the the Columbia River Crossing. Not just a postcard. Iconic, too. [iconic: an object of uncritical devotion.]

2. The Willamette River no-car bridge. I bet $1 this bridge will be named after Vera Katz.

3. The OHSU aerial tram ("The city's version of the Space Needle or the Statue of Liberty.")

4. The Eastbank Esplanade. (Really?)

5. Once Metro votes on the Convention Center hotel, I give it a week before the Oregonian tells us that it'll be a "Green Postcard from Portland."

"And miserable traffic is headed straight at us like a runaway streetcar..."

I have to disagree - a runaway streetcar would still give you about seven minutes to get out of the way before you're in any danger...

I think at the last counts, something like 35,000 cars per day cross the Sellwood Bridge, and that's down from what it was when it could actually carry a load. I know lots of people that already go out of their way to not drive across the thing, because it's scary as hell.

Imagine what the Ross Island slog would be like with 35,000 more cars...

"Imagine what the Ross Island slog would be like with 35,000 more cars..."

For Adams and the rest that's utopia!


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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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
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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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
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Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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Januik, Merlot 2013
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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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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