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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 15, 2008 7:06 AM. The previous post in this blog was Crisis with Russia!. The next post in this blog is Rotten to the core. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, August 15, 2008

Condos, good! Anything standing in their way, bad!

When there's a snow job in progress in Portland, you can count on the O to help it along. Now the SmartPark garage at 10th and Yamhill has officially become "much maligned." Really -- by whom, other than the downtown real estate maneuverers who want to make big bucks by taking it over and knocking it down, and the friends of said developers at City Hall and the city's daily newspaper? There's urine in the stairwells. O.k., and the remedy for that is to knock the whole place down? Oh, and now all of a sudden there's a problem with the farookin' elevator shafts?

Retailers and theater owners prize SmartPark's spaces but loathe its poorly designed elevator shafts and stairwells smelling of urine.
Can someone please tell me what's wrong with the shafts, and how they're any worse than the shaft that the city's taxpayers are about to receive?

The other piece of baloney being served up with the latest official pronouncements on this dubious project is the assertion that the $30 million subsidy that the condo developer is going to get from the city is merely the same amount that the city would have to pay to rehab the existing garage. What nonsense, and how lame of the O to regurgitate it back exactly as dictated by the city flacks. The city is currently rehabbing four other highly similar SmartPark garages downtown at an estimated total cost of $4.9 million. For a few million more, you could make the 10th and Yamhill garage shine, and hire security to keep the wee-wee hobos away around the clock. But no.

I know that when the O gets rid of half its reporters, a lot of them will have to take p.r. jobs. But some days, it seems like they have them already. At least there are a few critical thinkers left in the city's journalistic core -- but not many.

Comments (24)

I'm so happy to know there will be less parking downtown. I am also sure that will help the merchants entice more shoppers into their stores.

Just another demonstration of the chaos they call planning around here.

The idea that the city is accomplishing something for the public with this sort of investing is nothing short of offical malfeacance

When I was a kid, the Oregonian liked that much-maligned parking garage.

"City government got into the parking business in 1977 to support economic growth, transit usage, traffic flow and environmental quality goals. Convenient, low-cost parking for central-city visitors and clients is a necessary ingredient in the strategy to meet those goals." (11/22/88)

"Shoppers and other visitors downtown who are frustrated by the lack of on-street parking and are worried about a possible dramatic increase in parking fines do have an alternative. Officials of the Association for Portland Progress point out that seven city-owned parking garages are located in the downtown area with a rate structure designed to attract short-term parking. Each has its own security patrol." (3/29/90)

Oh, and that shaft that smells of wee?

The Oregonian actually gave it a review.

"Morrison Park West garage (Ninth and Yamhill corner): The sturdy elevator in the southeast corner of the parking garage offers a perfectly adequate portal to Portland's street life below. Glamorous it's not, but it compensates with a nice view of the new ``Whaling Wall'' through the slightly vandalized plexiglass wall. Hard rubber floor, plastic floor indicator lights. Slow." (5/16/93)

Erecting buildings that are going to be deemed useless and demolished thirty years later is a tremendous waste of resources, period.

Putting Andrews from Melvin Mark on the PDC is disgraceful. Way to promote the churn, Potter.

Those elevators will drive you straight up the wall.

Is it just me, or does $30M rent a whole lot of power washers from Home Depot?

I'll bet it would pay for the installation of some drainage piping and grinding of the stair landings to drain off urine too.

This whole deal stinks of more than urine, that's for sure.

It's coming...those solar powered parking meters for the (former)SE Industrial District. There are those who still wish and hope to try and Pearlize that area. If they can just get the trolley going.

Not to mention the 30% loss of parking revenue the new structure will get. Or are they planning to give it all to the developer anyway. This project has been on the short list for a long time. A couple of years ago I was on a COP advisory group regarding merchant parking validations. The advisory panel by no coincidence was composed of a few representatives from several merchants and a bunch of consultant planners and architects. At that time the city was already laying out these pseudo reasons for tearing the 10th Avenue garage down. I voiced my objections and of course they were disregarded. If this city spent half of the 30 million on real drug and alcohol enforcement-rehabilitation, focused on the mentally ill and put some teeth and enforcement into vagrancy laws they wouldn’t have to blame businesses like Petersons for the social problems this city and the progressives have let get out of hand.

"Putting Andrews from Melvin Mark on the PDC is disgraceful. Way to promote the churn, Potter."

If you go to Sam's website, he is claiming responsibility for Andrews. This is a gold-plated bene for Andrews. He pushes Carroll's (ex-PDC) project, Carroll builds it, Andrew's company sells it, taxpayers get fewer parking spaces and even more empty condos and storefronts. Meanwhile, everything outside of downtown rots/collapses without new taxes being thrust upon us.

Sammy-boy is the easiest guy in the world to manipulate.

The interest on $30 million would pay to have three uniformed Portland police officers at 10th and Morrison, three shifts, around the clock. That would clear up most of the problems without tearing the building down.

This post forced me into a paradigm shift. Until recently, I believed that newspapers like The Oregonian deserve our support and sympathy, despite their flaws, because they occasionally do some useful in-depth reporting on the important issues of the day. Now I'm beginning to believe that they deserve to die, because mostly they are just regurgitating the crap fed to them by their big advertisers and the business/political elite. As you pointed out, their reporters are so busy trying to find new jobs that the reporters have already become de facto PR flacks. This is a sad time in the evolution of journalism.

How about one cop and three laborers with power-washers, brooms, mops and radios that connect to the roving cop. Now you have "clean and safe". Add "green" in there somewhere and Sam should be able to get behind the idea.

It is a sad time in the evolution of journalism; one of the saddest things, in my view, is that many have been given opportunites to evolve, but most have been too arrogant to take advantage of them.

That's many journalists.

Add "green" in there somewhere and Sam should be able to get behind the idea.

If the garage's wash water is filtered through bioswales and then reused in the fountain at the park next door . . .

That garage has hydraulic elevators (the cars are pushed up and down by big cylinders, rather than pulled up by cables wound by electric motors)-- and they are pretty unreliable. PDC had a nice plan to fix the whole garage, replacing the elevators, remaking the corner stairwells (putting one-way doors at the bottom of the stairwells would be an obvious effective, er--step), and upgrading the retail space, for something like $10 million. They were going to hang beautiful decorative screening all around the upper floors, and build the retail out to the pillars on the Morrison Street side, eliminating the sheltered space that is the actual root of the lifestyle issues blamed on Peterson's.

What an awful missed opportunity that would have been!

I emailed Mayor Potter about the current developments at that location, and I got a response from one of his lackeys saying that this was started way back in the Katz administration, and linking anything to the current administration wasnt fair.

I'm so happy to know there will be less parking downtown.

No kidding...monthly parking is already nearing $200/mo in Smartpark garages.
I have seen a couple private garages that are still around $150 though.

The other day my wife made the mistake of pulling into a downtown garage that she thought she was a SmartPark, but wasn't. Less than two hours later, she paid $13.50 to get her car out of there. So she won't be going to that particular shop again. Way to go, City Hall and Portland Business Alliance! Enjoy your mentally deranged and homeless, while all the normal people are at the malls, with plenty of free parking and competent private rent-a-cops.

I can't wait until Brooks Brothers is gone -- and I bet I won't be waiting long. Vera Katz Fake New York isn't working, and probably never will.

New PDC staff has arrived to work the South Waterfront. They are recent transplants from NYC.
Thye don't know squat about the PDC, SoWa, UR, TIF or any of the fiscal boondoggles throughout the city.

Perfect patsies to follow orders.

Isn't it amazing that PDC now says that any fix-up of garage is now about $30M when they said a year ago it was about $10M, and then to say that $30M is about what they will subsidize the condo tower with 600 spaces with taxpayer money. That is $50,000 per parking spaces. Average downtown underground parking space has around $30,000. Is this like another giveaway like the 100 spaces that cost taxpayers $60,000 down at The Strand at RiverPlace.

The blight issue needs to be tested in court. First, begin with an LCDC challenge, then Appeals Court, then the Oregon Supreme Court. It is a doable endeavor than can finally bring attention to the issue of Urban Renewal by the city.

Why ruin the Urban Renewal concept that has it's rightful place? I'll contribute, are their others?

Smart will be park when Portland builds it's first bike only parking structure downtown. Most "LEED" buildings have underground parking lots get filled with up with care exhaust pollution. This pollution has to go somewhere. A smart bike structure would promotes zero pollution parking and human powered transport. The sooner we get cars and idling trucks off the downtown bikemall the sooner we'll clean up some of the worst air in Portland.


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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
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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
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
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Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
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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
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James Joyce - Dubliners
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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
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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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
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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: 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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