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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 4, 2009 2:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was Need medical help?. The next post in this blog is Talking some sense into "urban renewal". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cha-ching! More green for the boys

We must have missed the memos on this one. The Portland Development Commission is going to build a "sustainability center of excellence" -- a "structure that will be an icon for green building and highlight the city's leadership in sustainability." It's going to be down by Portland State.

And you get three guesses as to who's going to build it for the PDC... Come on, now, think really, really hard...

Right! Gerding Edlen Development, SERA Architects, GBD Architects, and Hoffman Construction.

Originally Gerding Edlen was supposed to build "workforce housing" on this site; that never panned out, apparently. Who knows what it will be now? But it will be green. And the Usual Suspects will make a ton of dough. And property taxes from all over the city will pay the freight. Of some things, you can be sure.

We do hope they hand out soup to the people starving outside. Go by streetcar!

Comments (14)

These planners must have graduated from the PSU school of administration where "centers of excellence" got their start. Nothing like a "center of excellence" funded with about 45% of the money needed for basic functionality.

The folks who need the soup (that will be all of us who used to pay taxes) will have to walk because 'fareless square' will be no more.
See you in line!

Green soup . . . Pea soup. And it will be LEED certified!

If they REALLY want to go green, they should just 'recycle' the empty CYAN building down the street.

"the new building will be a sustainable structure that has "never been tried before."

That's sounds like a recipe for success! Whats the odds of this thing pushing $1000/sqft?

Gerding Edlen (probably the rest) are on the brink of bankruptcy. I wondered how they would be rescued.

Ahhh. Their friends the Portland Developers Commission.

I wonder if Randy will give this a serious chin rubbing between skits?

Oh wait, guess who is on Randy's C&Es as big donors?
Come on, now, think really, really hard...

yep,,,Gerding Edlen Development, SERA Architects, GBD Architects, and Hoffman Construction.

Steve -- er, Ben -- er, Afraid of Randy: I hate to break this to you, but there is no such punctuation in the English language as multiple commas in a row. Every time you do it, you show people that your many clever aliases are all the same guy. Please pick one alias and stay with it.

Five dollars says that workforce housing was a give-back required in exchange for some exception to the rules and costs regular people have to comply with. Chance the exception will be rescinded? Bwa-hah-hah-hah-ha!

Has anybody done a citizen's audit of workforce housing promised vs delivered in City projects?

Has anybody done a citizen's audit of workforce housing promised vs delivered in City projects?

I was one of the original renters at Riverplace, a heavily PDC-subsidized project, with a "workforce housing" component.

When the developers decided to kick all the renters out, and I protested to PDC, even quoting their development agreement with the developers, I got shoulder shrugs and snarky "not our issue" blowoffs.

The irony was that while I had a "rent to own" lease, when I made an offer the developer told me that my $100,000+ offer to buy was "too low." At the same time, the developer was appealing to the County that the assessed valuations in the $70ks range were "too high." They lost their initial appeal to the Board of Equalization when I testified to their hypocrisy.

All public record.

Still, as one of the last renters to be kicked out, I remember a very cold winter when all the units around me were vacant, and the heat in them turned off.

It doesn't take an auditor to count the number of affordable housing units promised in South Waterfront, but which remain unbuilt.

Or to count the renters kicked out of Portland Center --one of the first projects of PDC-- when it decided to go condo. Where I lived, ironically, before I moved to Riverplace years ago.

There's an important role for PDC. But distorting the market and displacing tenants shouldn't be part of their job description.

Some or all of the funding for this project may come from federal stimulus dollars or state bonds.

Check out "The Oregon Way" section and also the "Go Oregon!" section.

I hope that some of you financial wizards will ask to be on the Governor's "Oregon Way Advisory Group" to make sure that stimulus dollars aren't going for questionable projects, such as sports arenas in Portland or this showcase green edifice. Perhaps there is someone who will propose building some green affordable housing instead.

About a quarter of the states already have their recovery websites linked at the federal website, Oregon is not one of them.

Does anyone know how we can check to make sure that zero federal stimulus dollars are slated to help fund the proposed sports arenas?

"It doesn't take an auditor to count the number of affordable housing units promised in South Waterfront, but which remain unbuilt."

True, but there is another side to this issue.

The vision of SoWa is confused. One side sees 30% of TIF money being spent on low income housing, and more being spent on homes for disabled vets, and other noble, but low-class uses.

The other side is ugly and classist, and I may burn eternally for writing about it.

That vision of spending money on affordable housing means crazy vets sitting on the benches in poodle poop park, making the hip people feel uneasy. It means poor, unemployed people getting drunk all day in the condos next to the ones the developers are trying to sell for $1000/sf. These smelly undesirables will ride the same elevators and shop at the same grocery store as the rich people. They will piss in the stairwells of the ped bridge. They will hang out on the new MAX bridge, making rich people feel uncomfortable about walking across the river at night. The MAX will open the place up to more criminal activity. Then there's the traffic, which by all accounts will be gridlock for several hours each day by 2020 no matter how much money we throw at the problem.

The only hope for partially salvaging this planning disaster is to scrap the idea of building housing for poor people and disabled vets in SoWa. Housing for teachers, med students, nurses, and researchers is fine, but nothing poorer than that. The neighborhood must be an exclusive, posh area, where the filthy rich can live next door to a med student who could resuscitate them in the elevator if they keel over from eating too much fois gras. Otherwise, nobody will build any more buildings there, and none of the other infrastructure will get built.

Given the prevailing ethos of Portland, isn't it time we build a Leed Certified brothel?

Brothels will be legal in Portland only when Sam Adams stops getting it for free ...

Not all low income people piss in stairwells and some who are better off are nobody I would want to live next door to.

Income is no barometer of manners. It would be better if landlords would base their decisions about tenancy upon positive recommendations of past landlords, utility companies (who received payment on time), and a personal interview with the prospective tenants. If the tenant can make the payments, there shouldn't be any nonsense about making 2-5 times the monthly rental. Deposits and fees should cover any potentialities.


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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
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
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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
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
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Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
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Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
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G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
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Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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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
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Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
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Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
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William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
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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
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Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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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

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