Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 25, 2009 5:09 AM. The previous post in this blog was Welches con man strikes again. The next post in this blog is Funny smell. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, September 25, 2009

For Adams, photo op becomes knock op

Not to be outdone by the Portland appearance of the Insane Clown Posse, the mayor put on his own buffoon costume and went out on the street for a publicity stunt yesterday, fixing a pothole that had been there so long that geologists had begun studying it. Oh yes, basic street maintenance is in capable hands, folks -- would Sam mislead you?

Even Portland's usually impressionable mainstream media was having no part of it. And Willy Week swung the other way -- calling the mayor out for his repeated raiding of the maintenance budget for high-priced junk that doesn't work well and benefits the few as opposed to the many. Good for them.

Recently, we've been getting an earful ourselves from several city Transportation workers who think the mayor is not a capable bureau director. They say they wouldn't dare speak out publicly by name for fear of reprisal. Their list of criticisms could make a month of blog posts, and anonymous sources are never as good as folks who speak on the record. But since hizzoner has turned the spotlight onto his track record as head of the bureau, here is a highlight reel (if you can call it that) from one frustrated bureau employee:

Transportation was a great place to work before Sam became the commissioner in charge. He started campaigning for mayor from day one. He pushed Transportation's public information officer aside and let it be known that all media contact would be through him. Mary Volm had done an excellent job for years in that role. This last budget totally eliminated her job with the city. Her knowledge of Transportation and mastery of the information led to the media still wanting to contact her rather than go to a posturing politician. This infuriated Sam. She had to go....

The only thing in Paving that changed was a redefinition of the work. They would now pave smaller segments of roadway. That succeeded in making the process more costly. If you have to pay those transport and set-up costs for more frequent smaller jobs, your square foot costs are going to rise. That helped in Adams's effort to show that outside contractors can do the work more cheaply. You have correctly pointed out numerous times that Adams knows where the money resides. He loves contractors and developers....

As part of his new-sheriff gambit, Sam spent about half a million dollars on bringing in Dye Management to analyze the Maintenance Bureau's operations. Note that the money they charged the city does not reflect the wages of our bureau employees that had to attend numerous meetings and interviews with these efficiency experts. Sam had a screaming fit at the Dye personnel that presented him with the final report and recommendations that, aside from some small changes, said that Maintenance was doing its job well. A second management consultant mirrored Dye's conclusions. Sam was not happy....

The one major conclusion that Adams excised from Dye's final report was their statement that Maintenance should be under the direction of an engineer. That would be a tremendous improvement from what we presently have. Our two co-directors (now renamed group managers) are made up of a former site director from Human Resources and a project manager from Environmental Services.... The point is that these two individuals are yes-people for [Transportation Director] Sue Keil and Sam Adams. They do not have sufficient knowledge to push back and explain why Mayor Creepy's ideas are impractical or a waste of taxpayer funds.

Sue Keil is no better equipped for her job. When Tom Potter (no fireball but at least he had integrity) was prompted to ask for bureau directors' resignations at the start of his term, only Dean Marriott survived the Purge. Something in his employment contract prevented Potter from forcing him out. Sue Keil is a friend of Yvonne Deckard, the power-grabbing head of Human Resources who helped suggest the Purge. When Marriott refused to leave BES [the Bureau of Environmental Services], Keil was given the consolation prize of Transportation. With no background in Transportation, she has less ammunition to refute Creepy's ideas.... Sam's desire to repair NW 23rd a foot at a time with hand tools is an indication of the lunacy that is presently unchecked....

I would be really curious to know what truly prompted [former City Auditor] Gary Blackmer to part company with the city. It might just be my suspicious nature, but I am sure that he did not make points with Adams when he questioned the misdirection of paving funds into the procurement of smart meters. It is ironic that our smart meters are apparently losing their mind. The meter system is a major revenue producer for the city and its implosion has led to daily meetings regarding fixing the system. The present Parkeon machines were placed on the streets about six years ago at a cost of about $7,000 per unit. The "fix" is to replace about 275 of them immediately with new Cale machines. The new machines cost about $7,500 apiece, not yet installed. If you go to the Portland Tribune website and type in "Ellis McCoy" [the city's parking director] you will see... McCoy's questionable friendship with George Levey. George Levey used to sell Parkeon machines back when we purchased our meters. He now works for Cale.

I am curious about Adams's involvement. When Channel 8 asked Adams about the proposed sale/leaseback of our meter system, Adams said he didn't know anything about it but would have his staff look into it. The truth was that Adams had come over to Maintenance and met with the meter techs to assure them that the sale/leaseback would not eliminate their jobs. Why did he lie? At least Blackmer and Drummond Kahn killed the proposed idea.

Unhappy camper there. And that's just part of it -- don't forget the management coach -- but enough for one day. The Nervous Breakdown of Portland continues. Go by streetcar!

Comments (31)

I thought Sam was more interested in "manholes" than "potholes".

It's almost as if Sam Adams knows that the Portland financial situation is even worse than we suspect, and he's trying to steal as much for "me and mine" as he possibly can before Portland goes completely bankrupt. Either that, or he really, REALLY hates Portland, and he's aiming the Titanic and screaming "Full speed ahead! We'll turn that iceberg into Slurpees!"

The mayor filling a pothole was endearing when Rudy Giuliani did it on the Letterman show back in the 90s, when Dave was making a big deal about a pothole outside the Ed Sullivan Theater.

“I was told concerned drivers don’t have as much pull as bicyclists,”

Ya Think?

"With no background in Transportation"

C'mon that's Sam's MO with staff - NEVER hire anyone capable or that might know more than you.

It makes it so much easier to manipulate and bully them that way.

That frustrated bureau employee is going to lose his/her job if Adams can track the keystrokes to a city-owned computer.

Often the least qualified individual gets the good paying job. Bright, accomplished people are perceived by incompetent managers or boards as a threat, not a resource.

Check out the higher paying jobs and the corresponding qualifications of the individual and many times you will find far more qualified job candidates that were rejected in favor of the brown-noser

You know, when I see this story, I think--it's good that Adams is in office. Because each week, he shows what many knew all along--that he's mediocre at the job, equivocates about the truth, makes back-room deals, and never met a lame photo or press op he didn't like.

In other words, he's a power-hungry cliche.

I very much commend the courage for the person to write this letter.

I would like to reiterate to every City employee, small business owner and citizen who fear signing the petition because of political retaliation from Adams:

We will not turn in the petitions or make them public record if we know that we will not meet the statistical minimum threshold of 32,183 signatures.

With that said, we are very close to getting to that point and I ask all that who did not sign out of fear rethink signing the petition.

Jasun Wurster
Chief Petitioner

Oh boy!

Does this mean those streets a little farther out in SE will actually be paved?

The city annexed these areas decades ago, and the streets still show little sign of actual pavement, let alone potholes. They rival some of the craters on the moon.

Just what are these able minds in City Hall thinking? Do they think we're all rubes?

"That frustrated bureau employee is going to lose his/her job if Adams can track the keystrokes to a city-owned computer."

If so then Matk B should also be canned.....

what are these able minds in City Hall thinking? Do they think we're all rubes?

Why would they not? What have we done collectively to lead them to think otherwise?

I meant Mark B, not Matk B (Torridjoe)

I thought Sam was more interested in "manholes" than "potholes".

Oh, I get it! Because he's gay! That is really, really funny! And original! Trust me, I am laughing at your awesome hilarious joke!

I saw the joke as being more about his sluttiness than his sexual orientation.

UM ,'Willy Week swung the other way'... jeez i thought they were the Other Way , now are they
godd fearin gun totin righteous folk

"Why did he lie?"

Because he's Sam Adams.

I thought Sam was more interested in "manholes" than "potholes".

Dave J: Don't be fooled! Actually, Lars Larson used that vulgar "imagery" ON THE AIR yesterday. Shock Jock talk, I guess. "Rod" should give credit where credit is due.

We have the means to oust the regime that stinks up city hall but it looks like we just don't care.
We have what I think an honorable man providing a way for us to act but we just stare at the car wreck.

Thanks to:
Jasun Wurster
Chief Petitioner

Even if he does not achieve this goal he can go back to what he was doing before and sleep at night knowing he did it with honor. He did not engage in name calling or mud slinging so there was no excuse to not sign. Just a fact based campaign seeking to stop the madness.

Being weird is for the people not the politicians.

I agree, Wurster has taken on a lot here. Having signed the petition, I just wish a "final push" could be coordinated. Adams is CREEPY.

On the sidewalk outside the office of the Portland City Club today, a gentleman motions to me, signs while talking on his cell phone, then finishes his call and says- hey, there's some people I'm with, they'll sign. Takes me into the coffeshop. Turns out only one of his two associates is from Portland, and he has the hard-edged glitter in his eyes and cuff-links that I associate with men of rank, or at least of pretension to such. He says, oh, I'm not registered to vote. I say, I have a registration here, we can take care of that..he takes the petition, looks at it, sees the lines of signatures of the hoi poloi, then literally, wrinkles his nose and says- seriously, I'm not registered to vote, and hands me back the petition. Then he turns to his two associates and says, but really, I want him out of there just as much as you do.


My biggest dream is not winning the lottery, nor having sex with Jennifer Aniston, nor owning an NFL team, nor having a bestselling book, but instead having a license to slap Sam anytime I want.

My God that man is a tool. And by the looks on the faces of the people in that picture, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

~~Shakes Head~~~

The recall should have been automatic

This pervert should be wearing that nice orange jumpsuit in jail

However in Portland, it's a badge of honor to be 40 something and have sex with a teenager

He will not only be NOT recalled, but re-elected

What's with Sam's hand? Is he showing us the silly millimeter size of the hole he's going to fill or just how much he cares about what most of us want or need?

Sue Keil is a gifted manager. Transportation has really turned around under her guidance. The problem with Transportation is not management - it's too little money.

This is how he spends his time when the city is busted ass broke and no jobs to be found. This guy is a one termer. Sickening and creepy. Look at the expression on the guys face to the right of the honorable Mayor.

"with Transportation is not management - it's too little money."

Fine, change the charter and take some from the Water Bureau, they have all kinds of money for a blogger. Streetcars never seem to run out of money. We have enough to re-do PGE Park twice in 10 years and always have enough moeny to re-pave downtown.

Sue Kiel is a gifted manager - thanks to the person who mentioned that. I do wonder if Mary Volm is the person who actually wrote that email.

I doubt Gary Blackmer leaving had more to do with Sam Adams than having to deal with City Council generally.

Mary Volm is not who wrote the e-mail, and I regret that the comments are now turning on her. This post is not about her.

This is the City of Portland's new slogan -
"Ex plures pro pauci"

From the many, for the few...

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
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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: 8
At this date last year: 0
Total run in 2018: 10
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

Clicky Web Analytics