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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 15, 2011 8:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was It's for the children. The next post in this blog is Here comes stagflation. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Obama drives platinum spike for Milwaukie MAX

It looks as though the psychedelic mystery train to nowhere is a done deal. The White House has $200 million in the federal budget for it, no doubt thanks to Earl the Pearl and the other delirious light rail nuts.

The pointlessness of this project on every level is breathtaking, but at this point there's no sense even wishing that it will go away any more. What a pity for our city and our region. The latest ladle of unctuous federal pork now gives the Tri-Met Goldschmidters all the more incentive to dismantle the bus system, which actually, you know, serves the people who live in Portland now. Here's a memo showing that Tri-Met is about to steal $13 million from a state bus acquisition fund and hand it over to the Milwaukie light rail project:

Staff, under the direction of Director Garrett and Deputy Director Bohard, had crafted an ODOT funding package that, in combination with FTA funds and other matching funds, would fill the last “gap” in local funding for the $1.5 billion project.... Under this proposal, TriMet would receive approximately $13 million, and would agree to refrain from requesting Capital Bus Program funds for bus purchases for the next three biennia, and would have funding responsibilities for the McLoughlin sidewalk project if the light rail project came in under the estimate.
To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, "Let them ride bikes."

The White House budget announcement also illustrates well the tragedy of our country's doomed economy. Print federal money and use it to buy junk -- what a strategy. No doubt waste like this is slated nationwide.

Teach your children well -- how to speak Chinese. Or buy them some gold bars to pay for the $20 loaves of bread they'll be buying. One way or the other, Magic Federal Money™ is going to be painfully expensive in the long run. Go by streetcar, indeed.

Comments (28)

Thanks for keeping this issue in the limelight.

I rode the elevator up with Streetcar Charlie today, and thought about asking him if he believes there is $1.5 billion worth of transit demand in Milwaukie.

Instead, I just stared politely ahead, and wondered if he would be any better than Creepy.

No one under 45 will recieve any social security, but there will be a train to Milwaukie, Oregon by golly!

"The pointlessness of this project on every level is breathtaking".

Of course, but supporters say it is vital on every level.

It's insanity.

Why is Governor Kitzhaber blind to the $400 million lottery profits already being devoured by this project?

I guess he thinks insanity is needed?

And 4 years from now TriMet, needing replacement busses, and barred from the federal capital busd purchase fund, will be right back with a $250 Million bond issue for more busses"...for the senior citizens..."


There is no hope.

more busses...for the senior citizens…

This is something I could really get behind. Or, for that matter, maybe buses too . . . .

But all seriousness aside, Jack, you can't have it both ways. If you want local politicians run out of town on a rail, you've got to have the rail first.

When the light rail is finished, they will need more buses to get all the old folks who live on River Road down to the light rail. In the meantime, they'll continue cutting bus service out there.

The biggest problem they have in that area is limited n-s corridor only service (on McLoughlin, River Road and Oatfield Road) with no e-w connectivity.

So the answer is to build a more expensive fixed corridor light rail line that will further reduce area service?

And to spur development and the utopia that has worked so well around the region.

JPACT memebers are ALL insane.

Mister Tee:...I rode the elevator up with Streetcar Charlie today, and thought about asking him if he believes there is $1.5 billion worth of transit demand in Milwaukie.

Instead, I just stared politely ahead, and wondered if he would be any better than Creepy.


I wonder if the House and Senate have any clue of the inbred dynasty of pork and pederasty around these parts? I wonder how the other 49 states might feel about it if they knew federal tax dollars continue to be fed to Moloch.

And to think, if ol' Kitzy wised up and decided to take back the state's money from this boondoggle, he wouldn't have to raid the gas tax funds for the schools. It's all so highly illogical.

People with vision and the ability to push the agenda regardless of naysayers is the backbone of great cities. A net work of mass transit that ties together regional centers will benefit those centers and the region as a whoal.
Congratulations to those who worked hard for this very important part of our infrastructure.

So the government's most pressing need is to get us all on aboard the trains.

Did you ever wonder where they are taking us?

People with vision...

Who, pedophiles? Liars? Another progressive making excuses, tsk, tsk.

Worshiping trains hasn't counted as "vision" around here in a long time, Mike. Now it's just inertia.

There are people who truly think differently around here but you wouldn't know it because they are frozen out of the power/planning structure.

Portland suffers from stultifying groupthink. Everyone is "weird" in the exact same way.

People with vision and the ability to push the agenda regardless of naysayers is the backbone of great cities.

People with the ability to type a sentence like that, regardless of the rules of grammar, are, on the whoal(?!?), the backbone of Portland's problems.

There may be a more suitable body part, but I'll leave that to the experts.

"People with vision and the ability to push the agenda regardless of naysayers is the backbone of great cities."

And the very un-democratic recipe for a totalitarian state.

Under this proposal, TriMet would receive approximately $13 million, and would agree to refrain from requesting Capital Bus Program funds for bus purchases for the next three biennia

It's amazing how I've been beating this drum for a long time, and sure enough - it's now proven that TriMet is even voluntarily agreeing to disinvest in the bus system to fund light rail.

I think it's time for the suburbs - especially Washington County - to just say No! to TriMet and Metro, and create our own transit system. That'll force the feds to put Portland/BiMet/Metro on the same grounds as a competing application from Washington County Transit, and while Washington County can be assurred of easy federal money - BiMet will see a grinding halt to light rail projects.

Clackamas County, unfortunately, is the recipient of Metro's new lovefest with the County and likely won't back down, even though only a tiny sliver of the county will have any benefit of light rail (if there is a benefit). Washington County, on the other hand, has paid so much into the transit system and gotten so little - other than the joke called WES (which also benefits Clackamas County, if only the far western edge of the county in Wilsonville).

A different tactic would be for individual cities to follow in the lead of Wilsonville, Canby, Sandy and Molalla - break off from TriMet and create their own transit departments. Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard, and West Linn are all primed to do it; Forest Grove and Cornelius could easily do it as well. Hillsboro's doubtful Beaverton will, and of course Portland would rather get rid of buses and have a Streetcar department. But fractioning our transit system in our region would force the investment to be spread out evenly versus a huge sum of money put in one project with the direct result of disinvestment in other parts of the system.

Congress is probably not going to approve $200 million if they are honest about their intentions to leave no rock unturned in their attempts to reduce the deficit.

That's a big fat "if." Most members of Congress are con artists.

Congress is probably not going to approve $200 million if they are honest about their intentions to leave no rock unturned in their attempts to reduce the deficit.

That's the funniest thing I've read today! Thanks, Ben! ;-)

Paging Jack Bog... paging Jack Bog ..

IP details for Michael Lewallen please... though we can all guess.

IP details for Michael Lewallen please... though we can all guess.

Let me guess. City of Portland Office of Sustainability? Those guys see the whoal picture.

Congress is probably not going to approve $200 million if they are honest about their intentions to leave no rock unturned in their attempts to reduce the deficit.

If the prefix 'con' is the opposite of 'pro', then Congress is the opposite of... ?

Hey look at the upside!
Just think of all the pockets this boondoggle will fill!
Just not for anybody that actually rides transit.

Just think of all the pockets this boondoggle will fill

Yup. It's a great day if you live in Sacramento (Siemens), San Francisco (Stacy & Witbeck)...

Just not Portland. We'll pay you for your "creative class" folks, if you keep the good paying manufacturing jobs down south.

Light rail is archaic technology. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I tend to think the future of transportation lies in fuel cells, energy storage, nanotechnologies, etc. In the meantime, we have buses that can work toward our GHG emission goals.

But buses aren't sexy or laden with enough buzzwords to inflate the political currency of progressives.

Mass pathology, yay!

Hell yeah it's psychedelic! When you ride your bike over the new bridge, you'll hear Simon & Garfunkel's Feelin' Groovy.

Just in from Florida:

Scott was the third Republican governor to block a major high-speed rail project in the past three months by rejecting federal supporting funds, crucial to get plans off the ground.

Newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin also canceled rail projects already agreed by their Democratic predecessors, saying the states could not afford the projects.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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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
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Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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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
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Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
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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
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
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C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
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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
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
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In 2009: 67
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In 2007: 113
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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