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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 10, 2009 9:00 AM. The previous post in this blog was John Kroger isn't running for governor yet.... The next post in this blog is Buying himself out. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

So much for the principle of the thing

The City of Portland has bought off the folks who had brought legal action to stop the abuses in the city's "urban renewal" program. You know -- where toney districts like the Pearl are declared "blighted," and "satellite" districts are set up to funnel property taxes from the inner city to pay for new public schools way out in the boondocks. According to this story, the case has been settled, and the opponents are going to drop their claims.

It's not clear what all they got in return for going away. All the story says is that "the city will reduce the maximum indebtedness of the River District to $489.5 million" from some $60 million higher than that.

Whoopdee do.

Now the city can go ahead and build its new homeless facility down by Union Station, and the Sam Rand twins can make good on their promise to deliver the Main Post Office to one of the usual developer scoundrels for some ghastly bunker or another. Plus who know who else will line up at the trough, and for what. It's all to combat what prominent Portland State sociologists have labeled "Bluehour Blight."

If you're really upset about the fundamental nature of what's going on with the "urban renewal" juggernaut in these parts, it's obvious that the group that brought the legal action had a different agenda from yours. They must have gotten what they wanted. You just have to wonder what that was.

It's sort of like the burning question of why absolutely no one in the business community has pitched in with the mayoral recall. They have their reasons -- for them to know and you to find out.

Comments (11)

From what I understand, this whole kerfuffle started because Sten & Co. wanted to make David Douglas a "satellite" district to The Pearl.

How come the Oregonian's Mark Larabee did not pick up the phone and ask the simplest question of all: What does this mean for the satellite silliness?

same old...same old...
I don't know if Portland aka PorKland is the most corrupt city in the USA, but it sure takes honorable mention these days.

Business owners in town don't pipe up about the recall because they know they will end up on Leonard's list for weekly health department and fire inspections.

It's the principal of the thing.

It's the principal of the thing.

Of the high school?

Of the high school?

of the investment.

Tashman was probably upset that he didn't get the contract. Maybe he gets the next one as part of the deal.

Follow the money.

It doesn't do those guys any good to build a school way out east. Or, for that matter, a veteran's building, or affordable housing.

This isn't a bad result, because those things don't increase the tax base.

They may actually have lived up to their moniker and saved urban renewal from behind the scenes. At least they saved it long enough to get another slice of the pie.

Very Mazziottiesque.

Where's your hero Nick Fish, the "new voice" at city hall? Oh wait...he's on the developers' payroll too.

Yes, he is. A half of a loaf on the Paulson deal was all he could do. Too bad.

Businesses may not have helped enough, but the ones that have deserve recognition.

Like the restaurant in North Portland whose courageous manager has refused to back down in the face of Adams supporter-goons who have showed up there to harass her, and started a little internet bad-review campaign on her.

Or the hardware store owner who had a close personal associate of Adams show up yelling in front of customers that he would never shop there again.

Or the realtor that had people showing up to give her the finger through the window.

Leaving Portland is a thought that crosses my mind, more frequently since yesterday, when a well-known Willamette Week columnist yelled "DON'T DO IT!" at his neighbor, a disabled, 88 year old woman who was signing the petition, all while gripping her walker in one hand and leaning against her door jamb, her pen hand shaking as she slowly scrawled her name.

And then he followed on with "I hope you fail, Gaye."

All I could say was "I understand."

Because in the end, our leaders reflect us, and maybe I'm starting not to want to be us any more.



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