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

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 1, 2008 3:52 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bill Clinton: "Obama can kiss my a*s". The next post in this blog is Inevitably. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
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
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
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
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

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
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
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
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
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

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Portland: Vancouver's Guadalajara?

I got an e-mail this morning reminding me about an upcoming conference here in town entitled "Sustainability in the Urban Built Environment." Greenies from all over are being invited to Portland to "explore a living laboratory," namely, our city.

Alas, the deadline to apply to attend this confab was two weeks ago, and so we guess we won't be making the cut. But scrolling through the late sales pitch was interesting. We noted with interest that the City of Portland's "sustainable development" office (formerly known as "Sanitation," I think, back in the day when these bureaus had less comical names) has brought on a "sustainable economic development director," directly from Vancouver, B.C., where he was head of the Canada Carbon Trust.

Ooooo, Vancouver, B.C. The source of so much arousal in Portland's already engorged planning bureaucracy.

Anyway, this guy Tom Osdoba has been at it here in the Rose City for around a year, I believe, helping Big Pipe and Sustainable Susan make things not just sustainable, but super-duper-sustainable. Oh, and helping to keep the tax money pumping into the coffers of the likes of Gerding and Edlen, apparently.

Some of Osdoba's writings are kind of intriguing. Here's a piece he wrote a year ago while still in B.C., wherein he pretty much sums up the tenets of "eco-density":

[I]f people need to live in a denser city, we need to make the lifestyle attractive. We must design buildings and neighbourhoods to provide comfortable, pleasurable living environments, and combine that with childcare centres, libraries, community centres, and businesses for day-to-day goods and services. This challenge demands that we help people break from the traditional notion that a house on a big lot is the pinnacle of living.
Most interestingly, Osdoba was highlighted as an "urban legend" in something called Best Life magazine. He was interviewed about his then-place of employment north of the border. There's no date on the article, but it looks to have come out in the spring of 2007.

It's eerily familiar stuff. Osdoba's comments include these:

the world’s longest automated light-rail system.... It’s also quite green, owing to the fact that 90 percent of the energy comes from hydroelectric power plants.... This downtown high-rise district of modern apartments and condos... currently boasts one of the highest population densities in the world. Much of it is also a greenway (a car-free zone), which really makes it pleasant for bikers and pedestrians.... The technology here is pretty simple: Using heat-exchange principles, the city will literally suck the heat out of the main sewer line that passes nearby and use it to create a heat-and-hot-water-generating grid underneath the entire development.... This former industrial waterfront and warehouse district was rebuilt into a thriving downtown neighborhood that exemplifies what urban planners now call Vancouverism -- downtown living that fuses modern glass-and-concrete high-rise condos with recreation centers, parks, and entertainment.... [E]ven nonresidents flock here for the restaurants, microbreweries, galleries, and boutiques.
O.k., all to be expected, given the man's job description. But check out what the article said about Portland!
When a city out west doubles in population in just more than a decade, it usually leads to tract housing on hillsides, traffic jams and road rage, skyrocketing asthma rates, and, on windless, rainless days, an apocalyptic haze. Unless, that is, you’re talking about Vancouver, British Columbia. Unlike its nearby neighbors Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, it has avoided sprawl by building up, not out, and by luring residents downtown with attractive housing options (see “The West End,” below).

Portland isn't "avoiding sprawl by building up, not out"? Isn't that what Opie, Fireman Randy, Sam the Tram, and Big Pipe himself have been doing for us (or to us) for a half dozen years or more?

How dare this magazine say such awful things about our green, progressive city! Instead of hiring this guy, we should have sued him for being an accomplice to libel. The nerve!

Comments (23)

So in this "living laboratory," who are the rats?

From Examiner: " Dealing with building code barriers is a huge challenge to (water) conservation," Tom Osdoba, economic development manager for the Portland Office of Sustainability, said. We have to figure out how to get out of the way of innovation." This in regards to the June 20 meeting to change plumbing codes to allow gray water into our houses to be used drinking water from the sewer, while chip factories get the pure stuff.
Another clone of Richard Florida, who dreams up the loonyness that Portland swallows.

Why did you delete the paragraph about raccoons?

Meanwhile, Sam the Tram is just back from a fact-finding mission to "Stockholm (and other places)" researching bike-sharing systems across the globe (according to I wonder how much we paid for that summer vacation.

Oh give me some boots to where.
This sewage gets deeper every day.
The Portland region has poured billions into the mixed use-Transit Oriented development push for over 20 years.

And here we are watching countless millions more from Metro, TriMet, Gresham and CoP, pumped into where it all started on the Eastside MAX line.

Supposedly to do what all the planners and prior millions could not do?

Airport MAX and the BIG plan for a Cascade Station mini city devoured some $220 million only to produce a BIG BOX strip mall that never would have needed any tax money.

The PDC borrows millions to pay themselves first and the beat goes on.

One farce after another ushered along with planner's rhetoric and the war on sprawl.

And today we have a cluster of absolute racketeered failure at SoWa with the public and basic services on the hook for 100s of millions borrowed, spent and awaiting to be diverted.

It's all so very stupid.

"downtown living that fuses modern glass-and-concrete high-rise condos with recreation centers, parks, and entertainment"

I'll grant them Stanlye Park and the waterfront (which even they can't screw up.) Otherwise, its an outdoor mall, so what?

However, before we breach some more dams, we might want to heed how green hydroelectric is.


Exactly how much hydroelectric power has been lost?

Just curious, you seem to believe that it's a huge amount.


Vancouver's Guadalajara?

Personally, I prefer "The Branson, Missouri of Indie Rock"

It is true the "City of Vancouver" has built up. They had to; there is ocean on one side and mountains on the other. The transplanted populations from China, India and other former colonies, came with plenty of money to buy in.
However, the burbs of Richmond, Delta, Burnaby, Langly, and on and on, all the way to White Rock at the border are sprawl at its worst! The rich delta farm land has been covered with houses, low rise apartments mini and maxi malls, Wal-Marts and Ikea stores.
This is where those who couldn't afford the downtown or to stay there went.
There is no infrastructure to support this growth and NO plans either. The traffic is just awful any time of day. Public transport in the burbs is just terrible. The commute under the river through that little tiny tunnel at any time of days is so slow that at 15 miles an hour one feels as though you are going really fast!
This guy didn't keep the sprawl out of the city, geography did, and the sprawl went someplace else. I think everyone up here was glad to see some other city have to pay his salary.


You criticize this stuff, and rightfully so, however you support Obama who is all about bringing this to a national level. While I am not a republican, and never voted for one in my life, I cannot support Obama. This lunacy would go on at a much larger scale should he win. And even though everyone in the Portland bubble thinks he has it in the bag, I don't think it will work out quite so well for Obama. The rest of America is more middle of the road, and thinks quite differently than parochial Portland.

I can't vote for the no-can-do Democrats either. If you want to be herded around in railcars and told to freeze for lack of energy and the environment, vote democrat. Representative Blumenhauer said so as much yesterday saying how he wants to subsidize mass transit so that riders get the same subsidies as automobile drivers. I don't know what he's smoking but its sure making him delusional. Mass transit riders don't even pay 20% of the cost of their transport at the farebox, and on the Max they have no idea how many aren't paying anything.

Representative Blumenhauer delusional or dementia? He's been light-headed for years and still has a horrible driving record. Some people were meant to ride a bike.

What is your real point with this piece? It seems like you are trolling on your own blog, and lots of whining posts followed. Unfortunately, no concrete criticism of that which you purport to despise is offered, and no data-supported alternatives are given the light of day.

So, really, what is your point with this?

"This challenge demands that we help people break from the traditional notion that a house on a big lot is the pinnacle of living."

"help people break" = tell people what they are allowed to have

This is the new Democratic policy, and we are getting a clearer vision of it.

Father to Son:

"Son, I realize I had everything easy in my life. We had washer machines to do all our cloths. When those clothes were done, we'd simply dry them. We had dish washers. I drove a car to work. In the winter, my car was 70 degrees inside. In the summer, the car was also 70 degrees inside. Yes son, I led a pampered life. A life that my parent's generation strived for and got us. Well now son, I am sorry. You can't have it so easy. You need to manually wash your clothes, hang them to dry. You need to ride a bicycle to work. We can't build nuclear power, because, well I am just scared of it because I didn't study any science and know anything about it. We can't have dams anymore, because they hurt fish. Solar will only go so far here in Oregon, and wind farms are out because they are ugly and hurt birds. Sorry son. You're going to live like they did 200 years ago."

And what a winning policy it is!

It seems like you are trolling on your own blog, and lots of whining posts followed.

Ah, "Lou," we hardly knew ye.

Obama who is all about bringing this to a national level

No he isn't. He's as corporate as the next guy, you watch.

"This challenge demands that we help people break from the traditional notion that a house on a big lot is the pinnacle of living"

These people beg to differ:

You forgot one.

Hey Lou,

What kind of "concrete, supportive data" are you looking for? The kind cooked up by planners that preceeds all the Transit Oriented Developments like SoWa?


Is that some kind of a joke?

a UGB does not stop development--it only concentrates it, while simultaneously hoping for things to pile up vertically out of impatience with land supply.

do folks not realize that the UGB is not really a firm boundary, but a slow-moving line that simply trades one set of problems (sprawl) for another (environmental degradation and cities that can't live without stripping an ever increasing part of the planet to operate)?

"Exactly how much hydroelectric power has been lost?"

Considering that energy demand is going up and building new dams is impossible, I think any loss of hydro-electric needs to be taken seriously.

The funny thing about all these sustainability whack jobs is that they don't seem to understand that the debt load they're creating is unsustainable. In their rush to create "green" everything they have larded up on debt and someday in the not too distant future the bill will need to be paid.

I was at a talk by a Vancouver BC planner last winter. She told of all the neat projects to increase density without a word about cost.

At Q&A, I asked about the cost of housing.

She unloaded!
Spent several minutes explaining that it was the worst problem they have. They don’t know what to do about it!

Afterwards, I approached her and suggested it was the growth controls and she just shook her head in that classic response that true believers give instead of admitting the obvious - she knew, but would not admit it to herself.

PS: I finally met an ethical planner:
It was at the last American Dream Conference and this guy told the story of how he explained, to an older person, that the land he had invested in for his retirement was going to become worthless because of the new plan. That was when he decided to leave planning. Too bad Oregon doesn’t have any of his type.



As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

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
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
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
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

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
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: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run 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

Clicky Web Analytics