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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 3, 2009 10:00 AM. The previous post in this blog was What's the buzz?. The next post in this blog is The 411 on 458. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How much did we just spend on Lents Park Little League?

While we consider ripping up much of Lents Park for a new minor league baseball stadium, we ought to ponder how much time and money went into improvements to the park for Little League baseball. There were nearly three years of meetings and neighbor involvement sessions before the Portland Development Commission and the city Parks Bureau voted to upgrade two fields in the park, thus getting Little League off its old diamond at 92nd and Harold:

It took more than another year to go through all the land use red tape needed to refurbish the two fields, create a new tee-ball area, and set up a couple of scoreboards for the kids. The new fields were dedicated, with much hoopla, less than two months ago.

The Little Leaguers were promised, "Here is your new home for the next 50 years." If the Paulson stadiums deal goes through, both of the new fields would be badly impacted, if not replaced, by the new Beavers baseball stadium.

The one concept drawing of the Beavers facility shows the Little League fields still there, but if there were thousands of people attending a Beavers game, it seems extremely unlikely that games could be played on the fields at the same time. (For one thing, there'd be no place for the parents to park.) An adjacent football field would certainly be paved over, and Walker Stadium, which is used for baseball by numerous amateur groups, would be torn down.

A person who was very close to the Little League field project reminds us, "When PDC looked to find a suitable alternative to Lents Park for the Lents Little League... a very involved process... my recollection is that there were no good alternatives."

Comments (12)


"Major League Sports" is more valuable to Portland than all of the following combined:

* Little League sports
* Park and Rec league sports
* Public parks and open greenspaces
* Over 100 mature trees that took decades to grow
* Free, easily accesible recreation and gathering space for kids, adults, and families
* Public opposition to major league sports.

We're killing off free public space left and right, but it's critical to the health and well-being of communities.

"Major League Soccer" is not critical to the health and well-being of communities. fun to watch? sure. exciting? could be. nice to have? maybe.

a priority or necessity? NEVER.

While we are going down this road, I always thought that Forest Park would make an excellent parking lot. Lets pave over it.

Don't worry. Randy has a new plan: We cut down all the trees at Lents and put a big neon sign of a tree there instead.

These are the guys running our city and making multi-million dollar decisions that impact everyone....

Don't worry – the Little League parents will have plenty of parking. Lots of empty spaces in the lot other than on Thirsty Thursdays and Meth Mondays.

Sam Adams is working hard to sell this Lents plan. Did you hear his latest idea?

"If you let the city cut down these trees, we'll require the Beavers players to bicycle around the bases."

While we are going down this road, I always thought that Forest Park would make an excellent parking lot. Lets pave over it.

it's been thought of, several times. most Portland folks have no idea how close Forest Park and a few other places have come to being diminished or destroyed.

the battle continues today. Lents Park started as a gravel quarry and is now one of the most heavily used parks in the city.

I'm stunned that the so-called "Green" City Council would take a giant, ignorant step backwards and pave public land so a handful of Portlanders can have their bread and circuses.

speaking of, what kind of "Sustainable" city paves over acres of long-established public greenspaces and chops down a few hundred old trees so it can build a freakin' *sports stadium*?

somebody call SustainLane. but don't worry--they'll modify their award criteria so that "public sports amenities" gets you lots of "green" points.

Regardless of Canzano's fluff piece (people who want your money act pretty nice and regular--WTF has Canzano never been hit up for money from his type before?--lucky guy)LLP is different from the people in Lents.
F. Scott Fitzgerald had his type pegged long ago: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that held them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..."

We're killing off free public space left and right, but it's critical to the health and well-being of communities.

And Canzano dares ask what kind of city we want to be.

I think we are telling Canzano and Paulson "what kind of city we want to be". We just need 300 people to show up at the next Lents URAC meeting to tell them all.

Tar and feathers are too good for city council.

"There were nearly three years of meetings and neighbor involvement sessions before the Portland Development Commission and the city Parks Bureau voted to upgrade two fields in the park---
It took more than another year to go through all the land use red tape needed to refurbish the two fields, create a new tee-ball area, and set up a couple of scoreboards for the kids."

Four years? And exactly what minuscule amount of money did the city have to spend four years parting with?
This is so sickening.

Yet when millions need to go to a city "partner" to get cooperation there's the fast lane.

Listen up folks and contrast that despicably slow process for the park improvements with the fast lane millions for Homer and the Tram.

Back in the spring of '05 when the Tram cost was soaring and the city was scrambling to get the partners to pay more (Or at least look they were so the public share would not soar)up) one of the schemes they cooked up was to to pay Homer $6.5 million for 100 parking spaces in one of his buildings in SoWa under construction.
There were other stunningly scurrilous details to this scheme but the payoff was made through a lone to a ginned up non-profit (also Homer) to own the parking spaces and pay Homer. Homer's non profit then paid Homer the $6.5 million. The loan has no time period for repayment, no payment schedule, no minimum payment, and no guarantee from anyone.

Here's the big contrast now. This scheme to pay millions to Homer took a few weeks to cook up and get a resolution passed. That resolution required the $6.5 million (in borrowed TIF dollars) to be paid within the following 2 weeks.
Two weeks.
Not two or three years.

But this was important to hide the soaring Tram cost picked up by the taxpayers. OHSU was also paid millions to agree to a higher long term share.

This city is corrupt and the city council is both inept and a disgrace.
The Creepy Council.

Anon, what is even more Creepy is that the North Macadam Urban Renewal Advisory Committee that is the overseer of this Homer Scam was not even informed of this deal. Blame it on Sam who was handling the Tram debacle, the PDC who hid the corruption, and still blame the PDC who initially refused to even divulge the scheme when formally asked.

Some of those people are still around, but a few have moved on-guess where? Another local government agency.

By the way, the 100 parking spaces can't even begin to pay even the debt service, and the garage is right under The Strand at RiverPlace. One would think that one of the most parking deficient places in the city could have a parking garage pay the debt. But when each space that Homer built cost the taxpayers $62,000 each when the average parking space in downtown was costing $30,000 then, one can understand why the taxpayers are taking it in the shorts again.


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