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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 8, 2009 9:54 PM. The previous post in this blog was Nothing new here. The next post in this blog is New pitch for Paulson: No new stadium, no summer sports at all. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can we just call it "Chávez Boulevard"?

Now that the city has renamed 39th Avenue after César Chávez, can we all agree to call the street by just his last name? I thought for sure that Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard would be shortened to "King," but instead it got shortened to "MLK." With the latest renaming, are we going to insist on using the honored figure's full name -- even his middle name (Estrada) or initial? No one is going to call it "César E. Chávez Boulevard," are they? Are we going to go with "CEC"?

And if we insist on both first and last name, can we resurrect the first names of all the other people who have Portland streets named after them? Actually, I think it would be kind of educational to dredge out the given names of the folks after whom Asa Lovejoy Street, Rodney Glisan Street, and the many others were christened. How many people know who Killingsworth was? Stark? Morrison? Hawthorne (no, it wasn't Nathaniel)? Is Broadway Street really a tribute to Joe Namath?

And one other thing: If we're compelled to put the accent over the "a" in Chávez, can we also bring it back for the "e" in Frémont (named after John C. Frémont)?

Comments (20)

Randy Leonard on today's vote:

People have lost perspective on the issue, he said. "Nothing heals like time and love," he said.

Randy Leonard on Sam Adams, late January:

City Commissioner Randy Leonard summed up his relationship with Portland Mayor Sam Adams on Friday this way: "I don't trust him."

Randy Leonard on Sam Adams, nine weeks later:

Leonard reserved his highest praise for his "friend," Adams, however. "If Sam Adams had not been mayor, we would not be here today," said Leonard. "If Sam had not been mayor, we would not be here today. So thank you, Sam, for standing up and doing the right thing for our city."


Hey, Leonard's right! Time and love really *does* heal!

You are right. There are too many syllables. I would suspect it will be known as SE "Cesar Chavez" with no accent, Blvd, or middle initial attached.

I love the suggestion I read on another board that activists should begin a campaign to name it 39th ave. I would wait however until all the new stationary and business cards are purchased by area businesses.

Here's what I'll be calling this strip of pavement:

"39th"

The whole thing is stupid, and a massive case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Agree completely, Jack. Chavez it will be, for me. (39th Ave backers, please, let go. It's done. It might not have been fair but it's no tragedy. Let's move along to something important now. Like recalling the mayor.)

Once upon a time on Friday nights I cruised Broadway in my
'34 Ford three-window. I don't think it ever was a "Street," but
I get the picture! And I thank someone's god that it was not renamed.

Pete, I understand your point and it is a good one about going forward with the recall effort. The problem I have is that all of us would rather be moving ahead to something important, but the City makes it really difficult to do so. They are continually going forward with unpopular, unfair decisions that we all have to live with. When the deal is over, and people get tired of fighting, only the rich and powerful win. New trams, new streetcars, new stadiums (all funded with our tax monies for the most part), no baseball, no criminal charges for misconduct, and PC crap that is getting harder and harder to swallow. Moving along is getting tougher by the day. My friend "Ben" has always said that when it comes to this group in city hall, "all resistance is futile". I would hate to ever have to agree.

This just in from my nephew in the Bay Area: "We, of course, already have a Cesar Chavez Blvd in San Francisco. I'm sure you remember it well . . . the locals call it Army Street."

Jack I understand your arguments, but you forget that we are dealing with leaders and a situation completely out of touch with the reality of day to day life.
You say Shavezz, I say Cha-vays

No kidding Gibby. Recently an assistant of Randy Leonard's told me I wasn't going to "get my way" when I asked for objective fact finding in a matter. No reasoned analysis with those folks. Playing politics with "insiders"is all they seem to understand. The rest of us out here-the majority- means nothing because we aren't enlisted as players in their game.

Yesterday the Portland City Council voted to re-name 39th Ave. after this person. Despite the fact that only some 60 respondents out of 650 39th Avenue residents were in favor of the change, the City was swayed by the very vocal proponents who had gathered some 2500 signatures from around the city. Despite the fact that the gentleman's son said that his father would not have wanted this kind of recognition for his accomplishments. Despite the fact that there is not a single Latino business, sign or restaurant on the entire length of the street. Despite the fact that the great efforts of this gentleman to promote the interests of farm workers in California have no relevance to the residents of the street. Despite the fact that it will cause significant disruption and economic burden for the residents of 39th Ave. Despite the fact that any number of bridges, parks, pathways, statues, fountains, or public building could have been renamed in his honor without disruption to people who did not seek or want this change.

The only folks happy about this one are the "activists" who showed that a little political pressure and multicultural flag waving can trump common sense any day of the week in our fair city. The Portland City Council led by Mayor Creepy and Fireman Randy continue to show complete disregard for the for the wishes of the people who put them in office. What were we thinking?

Hey, look at the bright side. At least the Cat Piss Men pushing for 42nd to be renamed after Douglas Adams were told to take a hike.

I think we need to change 3rd Avenue to "James Chasse Boulevard".

If Sam, Randy, or anyone on City Council lived on 39th, you can bet it wouldn't have been an issue, the renaming would have been focused elsewhere.

Nick Fish lives on 39th.

I wonder if the fact that Nick Fish lives on 39th was part of Marta Goombah's reason for choosing that street as one of the three streets to rename. Imagine how Fish would have been labeled a racist NIMBY if he objected to the renaming even in general principle. He had to take a position. Just wondering.

This whole thing is about Mayor Creepy & pals pandering for the Hispanic vote. Of course, if you say something like that you are immediately branded a racist. It was completely inappropriate. Once again, the people of Eastside Portland get screwed.

I too wonder why all new street namings (with the notable exception of Naito Parkway) have to use the entire first, middle and last name of the honoree. All those individual street signs will have to be printed in extra-small and unreadable type in order to fit the long name on the sign. Are we going to call it CAC BLVD?

Unless we're also going to dredge up the full names of everybody from Ankeny to Yeon, let's just stick with last names, and trust that people will know who they're honoring.

I've always been mystified by the premise that naming a strip of pavement after someone "honors" them.

And now, I'm doubly mystified by the incredible claims by Saltzman and the rest of City Council that--somehow--naming a street after someone *also* "increases diversity" and "honors a community"?

Huh?

This just in from my nephew in the Bay Area: "We, of course, already have a Cesar Chavez Blvd in San Francisco. I'm sure you remember it well . . . the locals call it Army Street."

Oh, sort of, but not too much. I was living in the neighborhood at the time and there was a big fight after the Board of Supes made the change (to Cesar Chavez Street, not Blvd.). But an initiative to switch it back failed at the polls by 10 points and the Army Street use has faded considerably over time. But I guess the larger point is, yeah, people can and will call it whatever they want. More the reason to ask: Is it really such a big deal?

Here's one fellow who knew Chavez well, and thinks it's a weird and shameful mess:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/07/cesar_chavez_boulevard_the_exp.html


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