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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nothing succeeds like failure

The O joins the "urban renewal" p.r. effort with a silly piece trying as hard as it can to put a positive spin on an unmitigated disaster: the Beaverton Round.

Comments (19)

Translation: "Since we're stuck here anyway, we might as well say we love it, and pretend we'd move here again. But everybody knows that's ridiculous. The only reason we'd move here again is if we were crazy and this was an insane asylum."

OMG! They really are the ZERO

The only reason a piece like this gets planted is to lay the groundwork for whatever new scheme the Don has already cooked up and you can bet it involves fat no-bid contracts for his friends with more taxpayer subsidies.

Amazing! These idiots that bought there ARE STUCK WITH UNSALEABLE UNITS and they try to defend their poor choices. $300.00 a month for condo fees on a studio? How stupid is that?
The entire article reeks of spin and putting lipstick on a pig!

Dave A,
You're right. The more you think about the vibe of the piece the more it sounds like something from another country. North Korea maybe?

"Why We Must Forgive Our Wise Leaders for Dam Failure"

"Brave Citizens Still Proud and Grateful to Excellent Leaders for Beloved Condos".

I dunno, I didn't find this article as annoying as The O's usually real-estate puffery. It doesn't exactly sugarcoat all the Round's problems. And we should expect the owners to try to put a positive spin on their problems; they're not going to admit publicly in print that they made a huge mistake.

Sure, they have a vested interest in saying how much they love it but it reads like they're scared to say anything too negative.

Here's how that woman responds in the article when asked about the HOAs:

"Ohhh! Ohhh!" she says, covering her mouth as if not to say the wrong thing. "Should you just write 'Speechless'?"

Of course if you DID want to move out of there the last thing you would want to do is say is something negative about the place. You never know another sucker might come along, and you could put them on the hook for your $800 monthly HOA fees. The piece sort of underscores the huge risk a person takes when they move into a new condo development. All those people plopping down their cash at the So What condos should have their heads examined. Getting a unit for 50% on the dollar makes little sense if your HOA's run into the hundreds if not thousands a month. Scary to say the least.

Usual Kevin is right - there is incredible risk in new new condo developments when you've bought in early and the developer still runs the association - and this article brings out two issues that the residents encountered because of it: (1) Lack of dues payment for the 30% of the units unsold and owned by the developer, and (2) utility fees assessed by the association and paid by residents, but not paid to Beaverton by the developer prior to the bankruptcy.

And no one goes to Jail. As a kid I remember learning that if theft is part of business, its OK and nobody goes to jail.

The missing part of the story here, of course, is the real story: how the Round got enabled by planning and governmental bodies, how it got pushed, and how (like the South Waterfront) it was praised as just shy of a place where even Jesus would beg to live--all before a sngle wall was built.

But the beauty of urban planning, of course, is you're always looking forward. Thoughtful and serious review of the hubris of the past is for lesser people.


"theft is a part of business"

You must be in the same apathetic (maybe that should be pathetic) household that subscribes to "all politicians lie" so let's not hold them accountable. Before you paint with such a broad brush ask yourself what you have done to stand up against some of this BS

Here's a thought I've been working on: These projects are a local version of the military industrial complex's drive for another war. There's this hopeless inevitable feeling about both - it's like we're chained to a conveyor belt and we can't get off. Doesn't it feel like even if everybody involved wanted to stop, they couldn't?

So the next condo tower is our local version of the upcoming strike on Iran.

Mario Savio quote:
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

Funny some of the recent commentary. I was out walking the hound this morning and many of my neighbors were in talkative moods. I had a long conversation with one of them and I think there is a far greater deal of anger in this city than most people know. She actually asked me to consider running for mayor (and there is no chance of that, ever). She did agree about uniting to vote down every ballot request for funding. So if all of us who are pissed can talk to 20 people and ask them to do that and they talk to 20 people, we might have a start.

Still the larger problem is recruiting decent candidates.

LucsAdvo:Still the larger problem is recruiting decent candidates.

Perhaps our best hope is for citizens not in it for a political career, not from the R or D party machine. Not a revolving door from county to city to metro and from within any current bureaucracy.

We have capable, good people in this city.
Many are displeased when they see the mess the insiders have made.

We need to start thinking about this now and encouraging and/or supporting a list of people so they can get a head start if that is even possible. I suspect the insiders have their list ready to go for the "chosen" seats.

We all might want to look at the candidates and pols from another perspective. With the situation we have with existing office holders and their staffs, bureaus and departments, why would it be any worse to have several (or more) neophytes in office?

Consider if Sam Adams is new to the political scene, running for office. Wouldn't his stance on things be considered "far out" if it's gelled down to: I support taking hundreds of millions of dollars from the water bureau and use it for bike paths and bioswales;

I support taking $30 Million of Portland's budget and supporting Milwaukie Light Rail;

I support banning all plastics; I support eliminating pro baseball for soccer and adding $42 Million to the $28 Million still owed on PGE Park;

I support creating vehicle congestion to force people to ride bikes;

I support tearing down Memorial Coliseum... well maybe, let me think;

I'm against jobs created by any big box companies;

I support trolleys everywhere, like we had in the 1920's;

I support urban renewal areas wherever there is blight and I'll define it;

I support having over 68% growth in our city budget in the past five years;
I support government transparency, but at my discretion....

When a new candidate is given only 3 minutes to make his case, that is what a candidate Sam partially boils down to. So, I'm to the point that new candidates with limited sound bites to state their case wouldn't scare me anymore than honestly stating what our present crop is growing.

I'm ready to mix it up. It can't hurt us.

Agree, we need to mix it up.

Throughout the years, I often heard good testimony from citizens at council hearings. Some who had a much better understanding of certain situations than the council did. There were times I thought I could have selected five of those citizens in place of council and we would have had a better outcome.

To begin with, I believe most people would be much more careful with the people's money. There would be that sense of responsibility and some would feel truly worried if the city was in decline.

Instead we have out of touch officials who think they are above us because elected and can do whatever now because they are in. Unfortunately, serious decisions are made by some who simply are not in depth thinkers at all. They just know how to get elected. Decisions are based on the next election outcome, not what might be best for the people. They have campaign managers, the sound bites ready and the press usually behind them. Those who want them to continue the agenda are in force behind them. They are now beholden to whom?

How long would these officials with continuous pet projects and no financial accountability last in other organizations? So they get by with this behavior because they are elected?

lw made some good points about Sam, who would have voted for what he is doing?

The people of this city will continue to suffer if this continues.

Grass roots must organize and get our city back.

clinamen - What is your strategy and/or plan for getting grass roors organizing off the ground?

We can sit here all day and talk about how much we are tired of the status quo and throw out general ideas but as a seasoned project manager who has actually pulled off some fairly difficult projects (both at work and for things I care about outside of work) with big political baggage, I can tell you that until you do the hard work of setting about an outcome statement (25 words or less like our friends at NASA) and start some hard core planning, nothing will ever happen.

You need a core team who actually knows how to organize people and plan projects. And you have to find a way to get this group together and get them in agreement on where they are going and how they will get there.

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