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.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 9, 2008 5:24 AM. The previous post in this blog was Rart at møde dig. The next post in this blog is League joins charge against Portland urban renewal. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

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

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

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
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 Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

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

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

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

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wheeler goes along for the ride

Just when we were forming a mildly favorable impression of Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler, he wrecks it. Yesterday we learned that he is now willing to have the county "continue the conversation" about putting county tax money into the infernal Convention Center hotel project, which by order of Sam the Tram's developer bosses, simply will not die. Ever. No matter how hopeless. No matter how far.

Ted, you yourself have preached many times about the dire financial straits in which the county currently finds itself. What is there for you to "converse" with Hank Ashforth and the boys about?

Comments (18)

Here we go again - Sell some bonds and we'll have a sure-fired money-maker to pay them back with. How do people keep falling for this tired argument?

Maybe if they had one example of where it worked, I could buy it? ANyone?

Jack - I am honored to hear that you once had even a mildly favorable impression of me. Coming from you that almost sounds like praise....The County's role in this analysis is very specifically to the VDF (Visitors Development Fund). These are taxes collected mostly from hotels and motels, etc. Although Multnomah County is the taxing agency (there has to be one), the funds do not go to Multnomah County. They are used by other agencies to market the Convention Center and support local tourism. These agencies are considering whether some of these dollars should be re-directed to the HQ Hotel project rather than toward marketing the Convention Center. The County would have to approve any re-allocation of these funds since we are the collecting agency (even though the funds don't come to us).

With regard to the overall HQ Hotel project, I have not reached any conclusion - I have many questions: is the project viable given the current economy? Will there be sufficient convention business to support it? Can a bond be floated in this market at the rates assumed in the pro formas? Among others...

I have been more than clear that I am NOT willing to support a project which would put Multnomah County at significant financial risk. This simply is NOT a top County priority given our mission and our current financial resources.

I would welcome your reasoned analysis on the County's aspect of this project as it relates narrowly to the VDF. Thanks, Ted Wheeler.

I cannot believe the local developer weasels let a Texas developer weasel into their public subsidy sandbox.

Mr. Wheeler,
I understand that you are the County chair but is your concern for responsible local government limited to that role and jurisdiction?
I've noticed for years that few if any local politicians ever speak out on any of the boondoggles and wondered why not.
Is it your position that as long as Multnomah County doesn't get dinged that anything the City and Metro dumps millions into is cool?
With Metro involved it's clear Multnomah County residents will be footing the bill even if the County itself doesn't get involved. So how about looking out for taxpayers, voters, under any circumstance?

Ted Wheeler says:

The County's role in this analysis is very specifically to the VDF (Visitors Development Fund). These are taxes collected mostly from hotels and motels, etc. ... These agencies are considering whether some of these dollars should be re-directed to the HQ Hotel project rather than toward marketing the Convention Center.

Currently taxes are collected from hotels to support tourism. I can understand that: boost tourism and you boost hotel occupancy and revenues.

But, if the money is diverted to the Convention Center hotel: (1) there is less money to boost tourism, and (2) incumbent hotels are subsidizing a large competitor.

I don't see how this makes Multnomah County better off.

We need to keep in mind that Mr. Wheeler and the other local politicos are under tremendous pressure from construction companies, unions, and Ashforth to build the convention center hotel. These folks don't care how much the hotel would lose or how much business it would siphon off from the existing hotels that fund the VDF. They just want the hotel built so they can get a big piece of $80 million + construction budget pie.

"pressure from construction companies, unions, and Ashforth to build the convention center hotel."

Don't forget, Sam needs another stop for the streetcar.

It should be obvious the project was never viable in any economy. Talk about reinventing the Wheeler.

the causal link of "building hotel space will increase Convention Center business" has little basis in reality. yet, this is the fundamental reason for pursuing it.

like sports stadiums, it's been pointed out time and again that it's worse odds than a Vegas blackjack game.

the ending is nearly always the same--developers, looking to heap the risk on the public, promise rainbows like "10,000 biotech jobs", "green collar jobs", and a long list of other promises with no basis in reality.

Ted, why does the County need to consider and vote on the Convention Center Hotel if the county is only the "collection agency"? Where in any document is the county approval required?

Whatever your answer is to the questions, I agree with Ben's comment that the County should voice an opinion about this matter. It has been the norm for many of the various governmental bodies to opine about issues and many times be partners in some manner where it is logical and legal. But in many cases in the more recent past it seems government bodies have played outside the laws/statutes of their mission. Case in point: CoP involved in public education in their pursuit of Pearl District TIF dollars for an illegal satellite school funding. I agree with your past public comments that the County needs to stay on task to what the voters regard as "county business", especially on a financial basis, but an opinion is sometimes warranted.

I think it is very difficult for anyone in a Multnomah County or City of Portland leadership position to show real independent leadership. I tend to see Wheeler as a cog in the political machine. He is a bit more astute than some in that he sees the value in engaging important bloggers like Jackbog.

But he will ignore reasoned analysis from people less visible. He ran for office with a platform plank to clean up Multnomah County Animal Services, but is suspending reason to go along with the demonstrably dishonest people who have been running the shelters for too long. He goes along with their statements that cat intake is increasing without asking why. If he were to do that he would see that the intake increase corresponds with the "duty to prevent animal trespass" provision, enacted in the early 2000s without public input, which permits people to take their neighbors cats to the pound without notice to them.

The whiz kid who says he cares so much about logic and analysis only is open to it when it is politically expedient.

Mr. Wheeler

You have held yourself out as a leader. Sadly, you are failing the test. This metro area cannot fund schools, social services, jails, health care etc and yet hundreds, yes hundreds, of thousand of dollars are being spent by various political entities to prop up this hotel. You just don't get it do you. Buck up Mr. Wheeler. We already have in Mr. Adams, a space cadet with no sense of the value of taxpayer dollars as he sails off to his next failed project.
Our children will bare the cost of these bonds and frankly not all of us have the personal wealth of your family to safeguard their future. We are the ones losing our jobs, our homes, our health care and our pensions. And if we are lucky enough to work, we bear the ever increasing tax load. If you really want to lead use your own personal wealth and that of your friends to take the risk on this project. Enough is enough.
You Sir, are a great disappointment. I had really hoped you would make a difference and bring sound judgement to the process.

LW - I have spoken out on this issue and have raised specific concerns about the economic viablity of this project (as recently as in today's O).

The Metro staff report will be presented on the 18th (assuming they hold the hearing which they should). That report will help inform my final decision.

It has always been my policy to speak out on issues that go beyond the County's narrow interests.

I also have an obligation to be fully informed when I do so.

I appreciate the dialog. Ted.

PS - I have not been approached by either any union or any contractor on this project. My schedule is available online. Ted.

In Mr Wheeler's defense, I think he is at least open to listen. He is probably the most astute of local govt on things like these (no, I am not a relative or employee.) In the end, I am hoping he realizes doing this kind of stuff while the Sellwood bridge falls down really has to have a real justification at zero cost.

I mean what the heck, Ashforth could say he'll pay for everything - Or how about going back to the tribes and letting them build a hotel/casino which I think would be a huge moneymaker?

I've studied addictive behavior all my life, often to help myself. It flares up in things like drugs but it can also be found in seemingly innocent activities like jogging.

I've followed local politicians and I'm convinced this desire to do something flashy and big - instead of mundane work such as sewer pipe repair - is an addiction. The problem is there's no end to it, because the high never lasts. It can't be quenched for long which is why we're currently going back to PGE Park to revisit another new project based on that. Unfortunately, we can't wait for these addicts to hit rock bottom. The economic situation we're in is too precarious.

My solution is to get these politicians help. If PPC can have lifestyle coaches or whatever that was, how come we can't get some addiction experts in and have them treat these politicians?
We need Sam Adams at a meeting saying, "I'm addicted to big spending projects and I need help." Maybe get Ted Wheeler some hypnosis therapy where he repeats, "Must replace Sellwood Bridge" over and over again.


It's so easy to criticize these politicians, and so cruel. These are victims of a powerful addiction and they need empathy - not scorn. With the proper treatment they could still lead very useful lives. Yes, treatment would be expensive but what price do you put on destroying a city?

Let's take one of those South Waterfront buildings and turn it into the Center for Advanced Treatment of Flashy Spending. It's not too late to get these people help. They don't need a hotel for the convention center - they need a rehab center.

Bill; funny but sadly right on.

Ted, thanks for a partial reply to my post. The two, top questions still remain. Is it a requirement that Mult. Co. vote on the Hotel if it only a "collection agency"?

Hey Ted -
I thought you were suppose to be a leader. So why is the common man (ie - me) can answer those perplexing questions, allow me.

is the project viable given the current economy? No, no a thousand times no.

Will there be sufficient convention business to support it? No, no, ten thousand times no.

Can a bond be floated in this market at the rates assumed in the pro formas? Sure, if you want to pay a huge interest rate.

Bottom line the government, be it county, city or Metro have NO business getting into the hotel business.

No charge for the advice, it's common sense.

Mr. Wheeler, we would truly appreciate if elected officials would in fact concentrate on the "narrow interests" for which they were elected to oversee. There might be some money left for us at the end of the month. Thanks.


Sponsors


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

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

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: 220
At this date last year: 67
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


Clicky Web Analytics