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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fireman Randy wins! Greek Cusina closed.

So reports KGW tonight.

Eventually the building will go to one of the Fireman's pals, no doubt.

These code enforcement strikes come at his whim, with no guidelines or criteria other than mood swings. Who knows, maybe you'll be next!

Comments (39)

Isn't that what the Mob does too? Leonard is so far out of line on just about every action he takes.

I will say that the Cusina owner (Pappas?) is pretty ignorant of the law though.

Ted Papas blames Randy Leonard, whom I believe is mostly responsible, but I wonder what this blurb from the November 20, 2009 Portland Business Journal has to do with it:

"Portland’s Greek Cusina building, 404 S.W. Washington, was declared in default by Capital Pacific Bank over a $1.4 million debt. The bank has sued in Multnomah County Circuit Court to have a receiver take over management of the building. Owner Ted Papas said he hopes to resolve the dispute outside of court."

That $500 a day Papas has been forced to pay for 24 hour a day fire watch has crushed him. He said that 50 people are out of work, which is a major downer either way.

Isn't that what the Mob does too?

Yep. They also both call their actions "hits".

The city seems selective in its enforcement. I've had a skateboard bowl and multiple ramps being built up against the other side of my business wall for six months now. I found out the BDS (Bureau of Development Services) laid off 50% of its staff via Twitter of all things. Amanda Fritz put me in touch with a human being who would actually answer the phone. All I get is that yes it is without permit and the BDS hasn't had time to send a letter.

My landlord is part owner of the business doing this, and is a property evaluator who has done work for prominent developers. (His firm was the one that evaluated a property on Front Street as essentially worth nothing due to the cost of adding parking.) The noise from the skateboarding is harming my business and is to the point where the drywall is beyond cracking. It is now starting to show through to the tape underneath.

This is not the first time the BDS has let me down. I lived in a building that failed multiple code inspections including minimum heat. They dropped all fines to the homeowner who could easily have afforded to pay. I should know, she was my mother.

I would welcome any help with the BDS on the skateboarding issue.

Nothing new here. I used to volunteer with the Peace House in Ashland serving the homeless hot meals every Tuesday. One of the volunteers was an elderly lady who had an art gallery in Portland that was run out of business due to the City of Portland wanting too much of her profits like the Italian Mafia wanting their "protection" cut.

This is why the South Waterfront never materialized. What sane businessman wants to do business in a town where the "elected at large" city councilors treat them with this arrogant attitude of "I can shut you down because of archaic, arcane code violations if you don't do business MY WAY!" type attitude.

Phuck the City of Portland city councilors. Elect them by precinct and lets see if they act this way.

To make it right, divide the city into 4 precincts of equal population differentiated by geography. Require each City Councilor to have a permanent residence in their precinct. Elect by precinct.

Problem solved, progressive solution to mafioso thug-like regressive behavior.

Will Randy mount the purple octopus in his office as a hunting trophy?

Score one more for Randy and the Goodmans.

One day people will realize we are losing control pf our lives to the govt (except for the BlueOregon types).

"I would welcome any help with the BDS on the skateboarding issue"

Tellt hem the skateboarders are Republican conservatives, otherwise you're screwed. Skateboards are one of the favored alternative moes of transport.

Randy Leonard has taken the concept "you can't fight city hall" to a whole new level.

So there is nothing to the "fire code violations"?

There WERE serious fire code violations, and we shouldn't lose sight of that, even if Randy's actions were overbearing. The job losses are too bad, but that is on Papas' shoulders-- he didn't have to trash his building. And Randy really needs to be more circumspect about his methods in this situation and many others.

Time for the Fireman to make a new video.

Randy Leonard's Wild Gay Chase (original video)


I am a Democratic PCP but not a lefty dittohead. I have friends that work/ed for Amanda Fritz, and know people who work/ed for Sam Adams and against Sam Adams. My landlord is a Republican who has rented to various politicians such as Nick Fish (twice), and Lew Frederick, who received rent reduction for roof leaks while I had no such courtesy for far worse leaks/issues.

In my opinion my landlord does as he wants as long as he can get away with it. It just makes me think that the BDS knows who to go after and who to leave alone, based on the utility of the landowner to the politicians in power. Will it take a skateboarder to literally bust through my wall for the BDS to act on this?

One of the volunteers was an elderly lady who had an art gallery in Portland that was run out of business due to the City of Portland wanting too much of her profits...

An art gallery with profits? Something smells fishy about that story.

When is the fireman up for re-election. Does anyone know?

Ben--re. the skateboarding issue. Your problem is that you are turning to a non-responsive public agency, when you should turn to an ultra-responsive private corporation. Ask yourself: what type of business is the MOST likely to respond to a potential safety issue taking place on its property? The answer: insurance companies. An illegal (unlicensed) skate bowl in a parking lot or empty lot is a HUGE potential liability. One of those skaters cracks his head or breaks his neck, and the owner of that land--and by extension their insurance company--is going to be facing a huge lawsuit. If you can figure out who is providing insurance to the owner of that land, you could drop them a short note letting them know about the liability concern--you will probably be surprised at how quickly they are able to make things happen.

The city of Beaverton should write the Greek Cuisina a letter to say they are interested in beginning talks for a possible restaurant site out there. I'm sure Don Mazzioti could get something condemned to make room.

Anyone know who is next on Randy's list? This town is a banana republic.

Not to say that the building was up to code, but the process followed here was preposterous. Either shut the place down or don't. Don't hire a fire marshall to hang out there for a year.

Maybe we should condemn City Hall and start over....

"There WERE serious fire code violations"

So, there are potholes with their own zip code all over town and he does nothing about that.

It's his selective (like nothing matters outside of the loop bewteen the Willamette and I-405) prosecution that's troublng.

there are potholes with their own zip code all over town and he does nothing about that.

I understand that potholes are a problem, and I dont like Randy any more than anyone else. I think he is a narcissistic windbag. But saying he he out of line for nailing a business on fire codes, and not fixing potholes is a bit much.

Condemning City Hall-The Portland Building,The Birthday Cake Building- is feasible with Randy's Hypocracy.

The building is still leaking in walls and roof areas, the handrails on stairs are not to code, the emergency escape routes are not properly displayed...the list goes on.

With Randy's limited resources he can't properly enforce everything, but he can advocate for his Water Bureau police to carry squirt guns.

What is the address?
PPR is usually the builder of public skate parks and know they must have a permit. That would fall to Nick Fish
Is this a private development?

Since the PDC has tentacles everywhere, maybe it could relocate there and adopt the octopus as its new symbol?


My business is currently located in the Hollywood district in the Budweiser building (this is where the 7-Up sign was removed). The skate bowl and ramps are in what was the storage area for the mattress store before it became a brand new business (outdoor store) run by carefree twenty-somethings. Public or private one still needs a permit (this falls under Randy Leonard via the Bureau of Development Services). In my opinion, building a party zone while getting stoned is never wise. When the walls are actually cracking and crumbling onto my merchandise, I would find it hard to believe it is structurally sound or safe.

I like the idea of more business condos being available so that owners of small local unique businesses can have some control and stability. What is going on now is the PDC is subsidizing developers and driving up rents that are only affordable to the next Starbucks, Subway and Supercuts (insert your own national chain or franchise).

Somebody I know has started following the issue of lax enforcement of fire code on PPS -- overcrowding and blocked exits included. There's big stink for you. Somebody needs to do a story on that one and pair it with a nice pic of Randy on the roof of Marysville waving his big hose.

The city may seem "selective" but the Greek was an extremely unsafe building to work in, and I am glad they are closed. Working in a foot of standing water and serving people on dirty dishes, and not being provided resources to do your job is not fun. The more you don't know, the better. It was not good.

NB: The lax fire code enforcement on PPS has at least two flavors of weaseliness wafting off of it. One is about the risk that calling attention to overcrowding and building condition risks PPS calling attention to the mega-bucks being raked off into the TIF racket. Plain old maintenance and safe operation of plain old neighborhood schools is so much less fun than those sexy TIF linchpins. The second is union-busting. Custodians used to have a bigger role in fire code issues. But, our School Board wanted those jobs privatized and dumbed-down. Pass the nose clips.

Rest in peace, Greek Cuisina.
One more step toward that sterile, glass and stone fake prettiness of downtown as one more interesting place with history and character gets shoved out of the way.
"Keep Portland Bland"

"Keep Portland Dead"

i wonder how many fire code violations we can find in all mr leonards rich developer buddies properties and all mr leonards favorite bars and establishments?im sure we can find quite a few that leonard and his hit team will ignore.how about city hall and the county corthouse randy and those fire traps?its funny how you can selectively pick on places you dont like and be an arrogant complete jerk and bully to these places.why dont you leave businesses alone randy and start treating them like them here instead of being a total jerk to them.why dont you resign randy pack your bags and move out of portland and dont let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out.we would be so much better off without you.boy randy you have ruined the quality of nightlife and bars in portland with your attitude and demeanor.the quality of nightlife and bars in portland sucks and has gone to pits since randy has been in power.look at the level of nightclubs and bars in downtown portland anymore since leonard has been in power if you dont believe me.

hey randy start treating businesses like you want them instead instead of being a jerk to them.randy you are one of the most gutless,heartless,arrogant human beings i have ever seen in my life.

The reason commercial condos are scarce is that banks do not like them. The bank I work for, and many other banks that I am familiar with (via peer group), list commercial condos as restricted collateral.


She was giving the artists 40% of the sale of their art, which she put on display in her gallery. I am not an art businessperson, but 40% does seem a tad high considering the operating expenses of an art gallery.

As for profits, you are most likely right in art galleries struggling to make a profit in even the best of times.

Fact is, she put blame on the City of Portland with the high taxes on small business and various fees and regulations as one of the factors for her shutting down shop. I am fairly sure that giving a 40% cut to the individual artist was indicative of other reasons for going out of business.

I see that most of the posters here gloss over the fire code violtion issue. A three-story non-code compliant atrium is a huge issue. Fire can rapidly spread through the building. That is why the fire code has strict requirements for atriums and in general, a licensed engineer is required to sign the plans. He should have sought permits for his renovations and should have complied with the code. Since he chose not to, he and all his employees are suffering the consequences. I do not feel sorry for Pappas, I feel sorry for his employees.

well confounded how about the fire traps and fire code issues and public safety at the city hall building and the multnomah county courthouse?i would like to know when the last time leornard and his hit team bothered to check these 2 places for fire code violations?i dont care what the fire code policy is every place needs to be treated the same and checked the same and not singled out because randy leonard hates them.how about checking all the high rise buildings in portland too?whens the last time leonard sent his team to check all the high rise buildings for fire code violations?how about all leonards favorite places and rich developer buddies properties?lets check to see if they all followed the rules and got the proper permits too?

Papas put his employees and customers in danger, no one has disputed this. Requiring him to follow the rules and make the building safe was the right thing to do, and trying to argue that it wasn't right because there are other places in town that need fixing...well that's just unbelievably silly. There are probably good reasons for not liking Leonard, but don't portray Papas as a victim just to quench your thirst for bashing Leonard.

People are bashing Leonard, but it's in self-defense. These days he's acting like the dictator of a banana republic.

Greek Cusina may have deserved to be shut down, but the issue that bothers most people who are complaining is the complete lack of any standards or criteria for deciding who suffers the white glove treatment from the code enforcement boys. Right now it's all at Fireman Randy's whim, which is neither fair nor good policy. Bully local politicians tend to foster corruption.

I understand your take on Leonard, what I was getting at was that I don't think you do your cause any benefit by decrying any and all enforcement of safety codes as rooted in corruption. When you ask in your post "Will you be next?". Well, the answer is "No" because I am a reputable business owner who doesn't willfully disregard codes and safety like Papas does.

well steve johnson our complaints are in how mr leonard handles this and singles out places he dont like and they way he goes about it without fair and due process.why dont we go check all leonards rich developer buddies buildings in the south waterfront and pearl district and all of leonards favorite places too to be fair?

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