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Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm sorry I voted for Tom Hughes

And I will never vote for him for anything ever again, after this. The guy just doesn't get it. Bye, Tom.

Comments (46)

Looks like the city URAC zombies took him over.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is alive and well....
just look for the lumps on the back of peoples' necks.

You just don't get it. It's about jobs. And every room in that establishment represents at least one full-time hooker position.

Well at least someone might be working after the hotel is built!

I'm for it, but only if they name it The Jeld-Wen Memorial Hotel.

And interestingly, notice that Adams, Cogen, and Bragdon have all publicly supported the idea.

And Bob Stacey supported it too. It's one of the many reasons I and many friends said there was no real difference between Hughes and Stacey, except Hughes might be more effective at accomplishing things.

They should call it Hotel Zombie -- it wouldn't die.

As for the hookers -- that's the politicians, and Hoffman Construction and Hank Ashforth are the johns.

At least with Bob Stacey, you knew what you were getting.

Let's encourage all the pols and the members of the Arlington Club to go outside all day tomorrow and breath deeply...

It's just more evidence of the conversion of Portland from a municipality into an admission fee-based theme park.

It's coming. Smart people are behind it.

We could turn it into a luxury detention center if the Hotel thing didn't work out.

Oh wait, we already have something like that down in the South Waterfront wasteland.

How about calling it, The Oregon Construction Mafia Public Feeding Trough?

Even with a hotel, Portland wouldn't get conventions.

And $225M? That'd be a hell of a hotel.

We are so screwed in this town.

The "progressives" are joined at the hip with the public employees, the trade unions, and patronage for their supporters.

The "moderates" are in bed with the condo mafia and the real estate sharpies.

The "conservatives" have all moved to Clark, Clackamas, and Washington Counties.

The "enviromentalists" may be our only hope for sane government. Sadly, many of them have been bought off by the progressives and the moderates.

Tax rates continue to rise, services decline, and the backlog of deferred maintenance is getting bigger each year.

The city that Works? For whom?

The conservatives are fleeing to protect their assets and livelihoods.

I told you so.

Ground Control to Major Tom: Fugitaboutid!

This is just a sick kind of funny.

At this confluence of every conceivable planner's linchpin, with a convention center, sports arena, multiple light rail lines, mixed use development, shopping mall, government office buildings and close to downtown,
it's still not enough to leverage, spur or inspire a private sector hotel?

Of course it isn't. Just like another TOD (Transit Oriented Development) mixed use tower doesn't pencil out without some UR assistance or 10 year tax abatement.

Yet Hughes, Adams, Leavitt and other mayors and county commissioners around the region are preaching in their communities what a good investment Light Rail & TODs are because spur private investment.

The sermons are heard at every open house and public hearing as "staff" presents the identical power point that preceded every prior failure from the Convention Center/Rose Quarter to SoWa to the Round at Beaverton.
Beaverton, having displayed the mother of all buffoon ideas that failed miserably is actually pushing for a new 1000 Urban Renewal ponzi scheme to multiply the failure on a grander scale.

They all call it "smart growth" but it is lunacy advocated by incompetent raving lunatics.

It's all culminated in the recent whopper CRC planning.

Lunatic Sam Adams is probably more responsible than anyone for the loss of $120 million devoured by planning an insane CRC design that had never been engineered or built.
Stuffed with so much of the lunatic's just plain stupid agenda the design and plan has been discarded.

$120 million is gone and none of them are losing their jobs.

Even more funny is this recent revelation that Houston, the smart growther's' antithesis to Portland gets better results "naturally in open markets" that are not subject to regulatory restrictions. And their housing is much more affordable.

Look at the side by side figures on page 34 of this central planning report and see we do NOT need Metro, the UGB, or Sam Adams, Tom Hughes, Tim Leavitt or the enormous cost or a tax funded convention center hotel.

Portland’s urban growth boundary resulted in its city footprint ratio declining from 1973 - 2005 at an average rate of 1.2 percent
per annum. Houston’s city footprints declined from 1990-2000 at an annual rate of 1.9 percent,

"This is a surprising finding, considering that Houston, which does not have a zoning law let alone a containment policy, has a very open housing
market and housing there is considerably more affordable than in Portland."

In the third quarter of 2009, for example, it required 4.2 median household incomes to purchase a median-priced house in Portland and only
2.9 in Houston.

Maybe he's all ginned up from the Get Motivated seminar held last Friday at the Rose Garden.

Lord knows what type of handshake deal Mayor Sam & Pres. Hughs have worked out. Sick.And.Wrong.

What goes around comes around?

Back in the days of the building of the UP, a huge scandal broke out centered around a company called Credit Mobilier:

Again, the neutrality of the article or parts of it is being challenged, but my, what a read!

Except for the names and places.....

December 2007:

Sage Hospitality Resources Overshoots its Budget for The Nines Hotel Project
in Downtown Portland; $118 million Cost Estimate Grows to $133 million


"Put together, the city's share of the $133 million project would be $16.9 million in loans."

March 2009:

The Portland Development Commission agreed Wednesday to accept delayed payments on taxpayer-funded loans from The Nines luxury hotel to prevent the developer from defaulting on another loan next week.

Developer Sage Hospitality Resources of Denver requested the delay five months after the $141 million hotel opened amid a recession that's ripped holes in its revenue projections.

"I could not have picked a worse opening date," Ken Geist, Sage's executive vice president for development, told the Portland Development Commission's board on Wednesday.

With profits diving, corporations have sliced spending on the type of travel and off-site meetings that are supposed to be The Nines' lifeblood. Congressional hearings into executive perks further discouraged such business spending.

City records show the hotel is expected to generate $3.3 million in net operating income in its first year, less than half the original forecast.

"We just need a little consumer confidence to return, businesses to start spending money on travel, having meetings," Geist said.

The board for the city's urban-renewal agency approved the loan changes by a 4-0 vote.


With bailouts flowing from Washington, Geist said: "This is not a bailout by PDC. It's a long-term solution to a short-term economic problem."

Sage is still expected to repay all of its $16.9 million in city loans at the original interest rates that ran from 0 to 5 percent. But the payments will stop until The Nines' business improves.

That means a loss of about $400,000 in payments in 2009 and about $600,000 in payments each year after that.

Maybe it's time to take a page out of San Francisco's past history; where the honest citizens formed a vigilante committee and got rid of all the corrupt politicians...

Here's the way that growth is viewed by local government and planning wonks: growth is inevitable, and there is no other choice than to plan for it as best we can. Result? "Smart growth"--the "best way" we can manage that "inevitable" growth.

These days, cities view themselves as competing for resources, jobs, and investment--essentially, for corporate sponsorship. If they don't, goes the philosophy, the city dies. This is the "grow or die" mentality, and it's the norm.

Read that carefully. Verify it. It's how cities are done today. It's also the reason why, ultimately, cities of Portland's size are always--always--on a path to destruction and decline, because there will never be enough resources to feed the insatiable mouth of that growth. They're already scarce.

So, "leaders" (I put it in quotes because it's just too awkward to apply it without irony) like Adams, Leonard, and others are in a constant state of trying to make deals with--and bend over backwards for--corporate investment. Corporations and investors know this, and so play a game (see: Paulson) to extract the maximum benefit for the minimum risk.

Notice the key word: corporations. The first question on City Hall's mind is not "what is in the best interest of the health, well-being, and future of citizens and the place they live"? If you ask that question of City Hall, of course, there's only one answer you'll ever get: jobs. Period.

It'll be cloaked in carefully worded phrases and terminology: LEED. Sustainable. "In keeping with our leadership in urban planning". You've heard most of the others.

Now, we're at a point in history when this system is falling apart. "Jobs" don't solve long-term systemic problems; "Jobs" don't prevent centuries or millenia-long environmental degradation; "Jobs" don't prevent the rich from becoming ultra-rich, and the middle class moving ever downward. "Jobs" don't prevent Warren Buffet from paying around a 17% tax rate on his taxable income and his secretary paying a rate of 30% (look it up).

How strange, then, that the blame seems so often placed on unions and some mythical group called "the liberals" or "the conservatives" or "the Marxists", when the real problem, the real thieves, are always those involved in the sweet, sweet deals that trade away the jewels of the city and its environ for a job (or, in reality, the false promise of them). Were "unions" responsible for the lie of "10,000 biotech jobs" in the South Waterfront"?

While the dogs fight over the scraps, the people at the table are eating like kings. And they're eating your future.

As for the hookers...

Years ago at a get together citizens were upset with being called NIMBY, so someone brought up an acronym then to call the city -
PIMP (Politicians In Metropolitan Portland)

A week or two later, it was mentioned on the radio, but it never caught on. Now might be the time.

Portland could use something cool down there, not a regular hotel.

Call it Hotel Portlandia, where you can't ever leave. A series of large thermal pools inside a gigantic sky-lit sauna surrounded by massage rooms, racquetball courts, tropical arboretum, and maybe a few hotel rooms disguising a brothel. Have a section devoted to family fun, pinball machines, pool tables, movie theater, lizard and tarantula petting zoo. Decorate the place with carnivorous plants and fly-feeders. Have stand-up comedy running 24 hours. Have a big section that Saturday market can move into, out of the goddawful rain.

In the meantime, we can dream of the antidote to rain and a family-unfriendly city environment while a ridiculous conventional hotel idea ferments among the vulture class of government officials we have here.

There should be no respect whatsoever for them. They have to know very well what they do. They might as well be kicking sand in our faces when we show up at city hall. How they can sit up there on their perches and keep a straight face is beyond me.


Metro has taken over the governor's office with Michael Jordan appointe to run every State agency and Lynn Peterson-Adams appointed to advance the same Transportation/development agenda.

I'm not sure how anyone can be surprised by this. There is nothing good out in Hillsboro that can be attributed to his tenure as mayor. Ever-declining road quality and traffic management (why bother? we have MAX!), poor zoning choices, massive airport issues (very heavily encouraged by him) and a bloated police dept (another pet project as I recall). He's just another politician far more interested in helping out his buddies and spending other people's money than properly addressing basic services and quality of life.

Said it before, will say it again:

The best thing Washington and Clackamas Counties could do is to deannex themselves from Metro, TriMet and the Port of Portland.

Let Portland have its hotel. Let them figure out how to pay for it. Portland can then add "highest property taxes" to "highest water and sewer bills" and pretty soon "highest electric bills" as another fine reason to live or do business in the City of (wilted) Roses.

I'm sure Washington County will do just fine by taking over Hillsboro Airport...maybe convince Southwest to move over to HIO as they are always looking for lower cost airports to operate out of.

City of Roses - wilted?
This City That Works now could turn into a ghost town if they continue on the agenda.

Future scenario? - Even the rich won't want to come to live in enclaves such as the Pearl and SoWhat if they end up having to pay ever increasing taxes, as the vast areas around them become deserted. The majority of folks who had been paying and had to leave could no longer afford to pay or to deal with any further betrayal by the "royal five on their perches!"

Five on their perches or five being purchased?

Hotwire buyers are lining up to pay $69/night for the unsold $199/night rooms.

Ecohuman, in most part I agree with your post, except where you state that, "blame seems to be so often placed on unions and some mythical group...[but are those] involved in the sweet, sweet deals...".

I must remind you that several times union representatives lobbyied as well as spoke at hearings on SoWhat. They are part of the blame. Almost all of the construction jobs in SoWhat have been union jobs and they were an instrumental part to SoWhat. Even the public employee unions (CoP, PDC Planners, etc.) lobbyied behind closed door for all these perpetual planning jobs.

"YES-partially so" is the answer to your
question "Were 'unions' responsible for the lie of "10,000 biotech jobs" in the SouthWaterfront?" It is like other posts here have said. We need to subsidize a Hotel for the "jobs", or our still present excuse, "Its for the Children".

The City of Roses turned into

The City That Works

The City of Thorns!

“A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom.”
Chinese Proverbs quote

Many here see that blossoms have been picked of our once beloved City of Roses. We need to be the thorns to defend what is left.

Tom Hughes is and always has been a development whore. I too, 'told you so'....

So Nancy, are you calling Bob Stacey a "development whore"?. He also advocates for the Convention Center Hotel.

Stacey is a good friend to the condo developers and streetcar developers. Most of the politicians around here are call girls, just for different types of developers.

If a Convention Center hotel can be built with all private funds, on private land, great. There was at least one such serious proposal years ago, but PDC wanted nothing to do with it, apparently because it would have nothing to do with it.

But, the Convention Center has always been a money loser. Using tax money to make it bigger just lost more money. Someday a privately funded hotel may make sense; until then, we should Just Say No to efforts to siphon more public money into this money pit.

Souls are sold, morality is lost and justification steps in to continue.

Ask this question: why have politicians tried so hard and so long to build a hotel? The *true* answer to that question is the story that nobody's writing.

So we don't forget, there were 4 major proposed developments for the SoWhat area in the early 90's before urban renewal; Schnitzer's property, Pegasus (Cascade), Dusen Family(Spaghetti Factory properties)and Pacific Metals; and even a few other smaller properties like McKenzie Engineering waiting in the wings. All these were private money. And the same was true for the Convention Center Hotel-we had private monied developers.

But wait, CoP/PDC has to put there finger into the mud and make a financial mess for us taxpayers. It's all about "control". SoWhat was the crowning glory to developers in this town to signify to just wait for government to give them all kinds of taxpayer money, subsidies and plan us into oblivion. That is now the methodology for developers. And they smugly admit to that in the backrooms. And rightfully so because we have let this happen. It's hard to fault them-it's being a good business person.

And if you add "LEED", "sustainability", "Green" to the matrix, then you are the preferred CoP/PDC "partner". Screw the bidding.

WINNER: Hotel Portlandia.

A virtual destination. And it's earthquake-proof.

Hughes must've gone to the get motivated seminar this week.

At least we're spreading the pork around to diff developers (Schlesinger) instead of G-E or Homer.

How long are they going to keep throwing our money at this black hole called a CC?

For the hotel industry, 2009 was the worst year since the Great Depression and last year was only slightly better.

Perfect timing, Tommy!

Wouldn't a shuttle bus to the Nines be a bit cheaper?

...or a limousine to the Nines might be the ticket and a lot cheaper than millions for a hotel.

How about a "Nines to Convention Center" Tram? Or maybe a monorail?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

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Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Road Work

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