This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 1, 2009 12:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Another day at the beach. The next post in this blog is Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

While we build streetcars and soccer stadiums...

... we let these people die. That's the kind of Portland the voters want, apparently. "If Sam Adams had not been mayor, we would not be here." Too bad.

Comments (22)

There is no doubt that the needs of the mentally ill or drug and alcohol dependent must be met through social services or they will be dealt with (so to speak) through the criminal system. There is also no doubt that the streetcar, though "cool" and better than the bus!!!, is a boondoggle for developers and not particularly useful for serious public transportation. However, I am not seeing that these issues are particularly tied to who is mayor. I know that you are not crazy about Sam Adams but I wonder if you aren't letting your judgment of his personal life make a connection that isn't clearly there.

Meanwhile, more important stuff on the agenda. Do these guys ever do anything real?

judgment of his personal life

I could care less which way he swings, but taking teenagers into the City Hall men's room for petting or worse, and lying to steal an election, step over the line for me.

Portland City Hall: The New Enron...
Where is the signed public document that states that Paulson will cover any cost overruns?
$48 million for a new stadium? They'll spend that much before they even break ground.
Hey Mayor Creepy, How's that $436 Million transportation tax package coming along? You know, the one that was vital because we didn't have any dough to fix our roads..

Hey Sam, Randy, Nick, et al - please look at the left column of this web page. Are you concerned at all about that train coming down the track at full speed?
Oh, ten digits means BILLION by the way.

judgment of his personal life

What Adams does in public spaces on public time, and what he says in public forums does not qualify as his personal life. What are you referring to, and why is it relevant?

“We’re seeing a new demographic of people—‘I just lost my BMW, I lost my house, and I will kill myself before I become homeless,’”

Is this an April Fool's joke? Helping people who need help is one thing, helping spoiled BMW-driving yuppies maintain over-inflated opinions of themselves is another. "Oh noes! I might have to take the bus! I'm going to kill myself!" There are good reasons for bolstering drug treatment programs and mental health care for the debilitated, but this "new demographic" isn't one of them.

I agree with Theresa, but I don't see any implied "judgement of his personal life."

The plight of the uninsured or under insured is a national issue and is much bigger than sleepy little Portland or Oregon for that matter.

Theresa..... Adams is a huge proponents of streetcars in Portland... thats the connection. He want's a streetcar line on Powell Blvd for christ's sake. What's wrong with the #9? Spend half what you would on the streetcar and it would be arriving every 2 minutes. Now that is quality public transportation.

When Mayor Sam replied recently to an inquiry about paving on NW 23rd by saying that there wasn't any money to take care of it, he was demonstrating that he is apparently out of the loop and so completely distracted by MLS and sign condemnation proceedings that he can't confirm the existence of actual infrastructure projects in progress.

My mail arrived yesterday with a full-color COP Transportation piece which included the following:


The Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bureau of Environmental Services are developing plans for a roadway and sewer project along NW 23rd Avenue between West Burnside and NW Lovejoy. Construction is scheduled to occur between January and June 2010. The project includes excavating the existing travel lanes, removing the old trolley tracks and ties, reconstructing the roadway base and repaving the surface. The parking lanes are in better condition and the pvement will be repaired by doing a three inch pavement grind and inlay. Sewer replacement and sewer rehabilitation in the vicinity of NW 23rd Ave will occur along Nw Kearney, Johnson, Hoyt and Glisan Streets.

But there is serious doubt inside City Hall that such a politically wounded mayor as Adams could have successfully taken the lead on this high-stakes public deal without Leonard’s hard bargaining with Paulson.

Hard bargaining with Paulson?? Oh, that's rich.

The plight of the uninsured or under insured is a national issue and is much bigger than sleepy little Portland or Oregon for that matter.

It is the county's responsibility to provide mental health crisis intervention. And over the years, Multnomah County has gutted that function. As some disturbed individual takes you hostage at knifepoint, try telling him, "This is a national issue."

Yeah, the issues of those with mental health issues here in Portland and Oregon in general has been deteriorating for years. I have a younger brother who is mentally disabled that is living in New Mexico simply because my mother found that their mental health system was not broken.

Thanks to her efforts and his case worker's, he's gone from someone who needed to wear diapers to someone who has graduated high school and is living on his own and earning a living wage.

All of this happened before Adams, et all took power. Not to say they aren't exactly helping, but they are only part of the problem. Not the entire problem.

One problem with blaming criticism of Sam on anti-gay bias is the soccer deal in which we went after Randy with the same zeal. Unless you’re claiming that Randy is also gay, I’d suggest you take the gay card out of the equation.

It’s particularly annoying because Sam was the one who viciously attacked a gay man and suggested he was vulnerable to illegal acts with minors. Sam did this in an interview with the Oregonian. The man was a potential political opponent of Sam’s and our noble Mayor smeared him in a very anti-gay way. So there's the sexual discrimination you seek - if you want to be upset at anti-gay bias, I suggest you call Sam and complain to him.

What’s more of a concern to me is an anti-reality bias that Sam’s supporters often display. Did you notice that the stories about the Nines hotel problems came out within the same short period as Sam’s latest happy talk about a convention hotel? How can anyone look at that and not see there’s a project spree going on that could lead Portland to ruin?

The great thing about my own case is that I can pinpoint within minutes the exact time when I realized Sam was an idiot, because he acted out one of my jokes, and didn’t even know it.

When the ridiculous rescue plan for the tram was announced – you know, where you descend down a rope 150 feet to the ground in what could be horrible weather – I suggested that the city council reassure the citizens of Portland that it was a good idea by demonstrating it themselves.

The post was picked up by Phil Stanford’s column and Sam went for it. I actually felt scared that something awful was going to happen and it would be my fault when I was only joking.

We already knew that Sam will do almost anything to be on camera. That didn’t bother me. But I thought it was extremely poor thinking to assume that the sight of Sam descending on a rope would make the citizens say, “Oh, now I feel safe about the tram rescue plan!” If anything, his stunt had the opposite effect, and at that point I said to myself, “This man is a fool.”

It had nothing to do with his lifestyle – it had to do with his decision making and need for glory. Nothing since that day has made me change my opinion. I see all these projects as a way to make life in Portland all about him. He’s not governing so much as using Portland as a backdrop for an ego trip. That’s why I don’t like him as Mayor. It’s all one long photo-shoot signifying nothing.

Jack, while it is true that Multnomah County is responsible for providing mental health services, most of the money actually comes from the State of Oregon. From the article in the Oregonian today, it appears that state funding is disappearing. Given the county's almost total reliance on property taxes for their funds, they don't have any spare change to cover the huge hole in their funding from the state.

Most of the funding for human services in the county comes from the state - a mix of non-Medicaid Federal funds, Medicaid (which generally requires some state funds as part of the "match" requirement), and state funds. As one of 100 plus staff who were laid off in 2003 during the last major budget shortfall, I've heard that it may be far worse this year, with lay-offs possibly beginning today.

It would be great if our elected officials would bring us all together to consider our options on these important issues. But alas, they have other things on their minds.

It reads like you just accused Sam of murdering people. I guess it was only a matter of time.

I leave that to the experts:

"These are people who will be on the street or in jail," says Sheila North, who runs the De Paul Treatment Center downtown. "There will be more deaths. I don’t want to be Chicken Little about it, but that’s the reality."

"These people" are already on the street. I see them almost every day along West Burnside and around NW Portland. I'm sure out international soccer guests will be favorably impressed with Seedy City.

By way of explanation, I'll add that the people I am seeing on the street are more disheveled, more wild-eyed and more desperate than usual. And there seem to be more of them. It's hard to imagine what worse will be.

Sherwood, it was Sam that said a few months back that if we don't support his $500 Million road tax we would be "murdering people". These hyperbolic declarations work both ways.

there are all kinds of facts about PDX and Multnomah County that even local government and press seem to ignore.

for example, the average age in Multnomah County is about *35 years old*--and over 40% of people are married

(and contrary to press, "single, under-30 "creatives"" are *not* a "growing segment").

about 15% of people in the county live at or below the poverty line.

and less than one-third of Portlanders can afford to own a home. *any* home, with *any* financial arrangement.

the most common profession? construction. and fewer than one third of Portlanders hold a four-year college degree.

and estimates vary on homelessness, but the largest groups? families and veterans.

aren't statistics fun?

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