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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 10, 2009 10:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was If that's all there is, my friend, then let's keep dancing. The next post in this blog is Just another day in corporate America. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear Nick Fish

I write you because you're the only one on the Portland City Council with a lick of common sense or credibility left. Nick, we read this, and we read this -- published the same day. What kind of mushrooms are they serving in City Hall?

Comments (13)

Go by streetcar!

$3,500 on a 1,300 SF pad.


Paid the same $ for double the SF in neighboring Wash county.

I wish I could sell my PDX property to get out from under these bloodsuckers.

Fire some people already.

Hopefully this means that Sam won't be able to get his hands on enough money to continue railroading Portland.

Maybe they will even have to cut off a developer or three.


Sorry JK, the left pocket (actual money from taxpayers) is the one with the fiscal emergency.

The right pocket (money we can swindle from the feds and new bond buyers) still has plenty of borrowing capacity yet.

We're not bankrupt until the credit cards are maxed out and we can no longer afford to make the minimum interest payments.

Sadly, I spoke with a Portland investigator (one of four who pursues I.D. thieves and financial fraud) last week who is concerned he may lose his job in the precint consolidation that has been proposed. Contrary to the news reports, its not just "supervisors" who will be lost if the Chief gets her way.

Interesting times indeed. How difficult is it to look at what they have and not what they do not have? Prioritize what is intrinsic and needed, and go forward.

Sensible leadership would surmise this without the aid of a study or more talk. Hiring and raise freezes, bringing management-to-line-staff ratios in line with the private sector, no more street cars, no more trains, no more trainings, no soccer stadiums, no more Chargers for the police. It does not seem too difficult as these are what common citizens are doing. Instead, the politicos use scare tactics and cut things that freak the citizenry out. Look back at what Multnomah County did what the iTax that voters foolishly approved. They expanded and spent the money, only to close the newly minted programs as part of the "sunsetting" of the tax.

I would appeal to someone specific in City Hall, but there is not a single entity there that is willing to take a stand and do what is right, irrespective of their political future.

At least there will be a bunch of empty condos to house all the out-of-work people in, that is if the federally owned "bad asset" bank purchases are allowed under TARP.

A "Confederacy of Dunces," indeed.

Let's fire about 95 percent of the city planners. Sure we'd have fewer charrettes, but this is a crisis. Right?

[BTW: I'm always tickled that "charette" and "charrette" are not in my computer's dictionary.]

The PDC should go starting at the top with Bruce Warner.

OK, I am confused now.

Last year, road repairs cost $450M and we needed a new tax to pay for it. Now we're cutting.

Then we get this quote in Jan:
"Some funding will come from the $900 million in reserves, bond funds and other financial holding the city has on hand."

Of course if it is a streetcar or stadia, no problem. When are people going to see Sammy McLiar for what he is?

Paulson said there's no deal on either site, though both are "operationally sustainable."

Too bad the city isn't....

GW:Charrette –noun a final, intensive effort to finish a project, esp. an architectural design project, before a deadline.

Nick's statement regarding Major League Soccer and AAA Baseball is pasted below:

"I’m a big soccer fan. As a proud soccer dad, I regularly attend University of Portland Pilots soccer games with my daughter. I think Major League Soccer would be a great fit for Portland.

Given the current state of the economy, however, I am concerned that Mr. Paulson’s proposal relies on substantial public investment ($85 million dollars), including revenue bonds and tax increment financing.

In these tough times, when many Portlanders are facing home foreclosures and job loss, I believe the City needs to focus on maintaining basic services and taking care of our most vulnerable citizens.

I’m also concerned about potentially negative impacts of a new stadium on the livability of the Lents neighborhood. The proposed baseball stadium would require as many as 3,000 parking spaces and displace community amenities, including sports fields for baseball, football, softball and volleyball, as well as picnic areas and a covered concert space. The current proposal does not adequately address replacement of these essential community resources.

Sports franchises have not always enjoyed a stellar track record here in Portland. Despite optimistic revenue projections, the last PGE Park owner defaulted on its payments to the City. As a result, the City is still paying off $28 million in debt on the 2001 renovations.

I am eager to find a way to bring a new business like Major League Soccer to Portland. However, I am not yet convinced that now is the right time to invest scarce public dollars in new stadiums."

Well, perhaps Council can get rid of at least 3/4 of the 50 new people Sam Adams recently hired with the title "Policy Adviser", especially all the unqualified ones like Amy Ruiz. 30 people at an average salary of $55k, with 40% FTE on top of it averaging about $25K, hmmm that would be a yearly savings of about $2,400,000.

Then, Council really should get rid of PDC. It's time. TIF can be administered in a different way, perhaps a way that is more transparent and actually makes revenue rather than costs the city revenue.

Other things? Get rid of anything with the word Sustainable in the title. Anything sustainable can, and should, just be folded into existing bureaus and job functions. I bet that would save the City a few million.

Make it mandatory that all brochures, mailers, etc. are on cheap paper and printed in black and white. I really don't need to see another wasteful glossy Open house or Charette invite. Ever.

Limit the ratio of "Managers" to other staff. When I worked for a certain bureau it was out of control - about 1 high paid close to 6-figure salary "manager" for every 8 - 10 production worker staff. That's ridiculous and dead weight, and extremely expensive for the City.

Get rid of the bench warmers, desk sleepers, out to pasture do-nothings. Just simply do a computer audit of people who play computer solitaire, chat online and surf the internet all day. I bet you could easily get rid of 30% of City Staff and no one would notice a loss of productivity.

Sell South Waterfront to the Chinese. They are lending the US money left and right right now anyway, why not get in on the action here in Portland. Also, the Chinese are used to crappy built giant high-rise tower neighborhoods. And trams.

Citywonker, while I agree with much of what you are saying, any city slackers (who have indulged in anything other than human sacrifice on the clock) will be as difficult to pluck off as ticks in high summer and harder to drop than that last 5 pounds of winter lard. They are all union members and the litigation alone would kill the city and crowd the courts.

Asking for printing mandates, however, is reasonable. I used to work in the printing industry and wince everytime I see full color, die-cut mailers arrive in my box from the city or from for-profit monopoly utilities. Postage is going up as well in May. The city should also look seriously into consolidating its mailings rather than sending them out separately and (often) in duplicate.

Unfortunately there is no "no taxpayer left behind" program for government workers . . . that's only for teachers.


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
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
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Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

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
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: 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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