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Friday, April 8, 2011

In Lake O., a rustling of pitchforks

An alert reader from Portland's southern 'burb sends along this notice, forwarded from Mike Kehoe, a city council member who's opposed to the proposed streetcar boondoggle:

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you to let you know about an upcoming opportunity to offer public comment about the potential streetcar to Lake Oswego. On Tuesday, April 12th at 6:00 PM at City Hall, Council will be taking public comment on streetcar. Anyone who desires to comment will be allowed up to two minutes and all you need to do is fill out a request to comment card.

This is a very significant decision for Lake Oswego because it will affect many other things that we can or cannot do in our town. If Streetcar moves forward, it will permanently change the character of our small town. In addition, it will shift our financial priorities from other valuable projects. Given the magnitude and the cost of this decision, I will be advocating at council that a public vote should be held. In the absence of a public vote, I feel that it is extremely important for the citizens to come forward on Tuesday evening and tell us what their vision is for Lake Oswego.

I hope that you will attend the meeting on Tuesday evening, bring your friends and neighbors and provide a comment.


UPDATE, 10:24 a.m.: Another alert reader points out that the group that speaks for the neighborhood associations down that way came out last weekend against the streetcar:
April 2, 2011

Be it resolved that the membership of the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition is opposed to the streetcar as the locally preferred alternative over the enhanced bus or no build options. We believe that streetcar proponents have not proven that project benefits are commensurate with the estimated $458 million project cost. Congestion will not be significantly reduced and the streetcar does not provide a better transit opportunity for all Lake Oswego and local area users. We believe that the purported economic and development benefits of the streetcar are overstated and unrealistic. We believe that streetcar construction will cause irreversible environmental damage to sensitive lands and wildlife located along the proposed route. We further believe that currently unknown local funding requirements for construction and operation of the streetcar will place a significant future burden on Lake Oswego taxpayers. Finally, we believe that streetcar construction and operation will divert financial resources away from important new projects supported by the whole community as well as schools, street maintenance, parks, library, police and fire.

Do you smell that? It smells a little like tar and feathers.

Comments (47)

Councilor's Jeff Gudman, Mike Kehoe and Mary Olson are the kind of honest and responsible people we need more of at every level and jurisdiction in sight.

They are still slightly out numbered on the LO city council by the usual TriMet/Metro racketeers who can't tell the truth about anything so some hefty support at Tuesday's hearing is important.

And this is not just a LO issue.
It is a regional issue that has regional implications.

Get out there Tuesday evening and help put a dagger in this project as well as cripple the agenda that pushes it forward without any public voting.

Good Luck!
You all will need it to foil this boondoggle.

That is one polite memo. My goodness, they're gentle out there.
It goes on to say that if the streetcars pass it will make foie gras out of the budget.

OOOh I love foie gras, but this recipe will leave a bitter taste at best and will poison the unwary at worst.

Since we've pretty much become a nation of gypsies that moves from city to city, state to state, job to job, and since a large proportion of residents in this area are recent arrivals with little knowledge or concern for the character or history of the their new home, I'll bet the Streetcar goes through without a hitch because just like here in PeeTown, there simply aren't enough people who really care enough to bother getting involved, with the exception of the zealots who always seem to get their way. The rest are just waiting for the next relocation.

My oops and apologies to any Roma out there. I should have said 'a nation of nomads'.

It's a "Portland" to Lake Oswego boondoggle so Portlanmders who ars sick of this cabal should also show up.

The LO Steetcar is going to punish Macadam property owners with a hefty LID, congest traffic on Macadam, obstruct the West end of the Sellwood Bridge design and provide excuses for millions more to be lost in psubsidizing over crowding denisties in the John's Landing area.

This project is far worse than WES and will produce the same failure only on a grander scale.

"If you wish to comment, have your butler fill out your comment card, then just give it to the concierge at the beginning of the meeting. One request though: Please refrain from saying anything gauche."

Message to Lake Oswego:
Smart Growth density wrecked our neighborhood.

Oh you quaint little suburbanites. Don't you understand that the developers, and Metro, and the City of Portland, and Earl Blumenuer, and the Eco-nazis all want you to have streetcar? Why would the opinion of the town in question matter?

When it comes to trains, people sitting in offices in central Portland make the decisions and the people in the suburbs just accept them. What ever gave you the idea that your town is an equal partner?

Ouch Bill! We (spousal unit and I) have been Lake Osegans for over 89 years combined and I can assure you that there has never been a butler or concierge in our neighborhood or any other that I know of. I have been reading some characterizations of LO that would have us driving Bentlys and using maids. If that were true, where is my well deserved Bently?? And I could use that maid about now for my spring cleaning!

The folks in LO, like everywhere else, are being overrun by the planner class and politicians whose egos know no bounds, and, if not stopped, we will all be left with intolerable debt and a degraded town. Then watch the exodus of us old-timers to ..... where????

As for the rich folk who surround me -- well, I guess I am not so jealous as Pdxers -- I don't want to be them and for the most part, the wealthy people I know are very nice. Just like everywhere else. When their behavior gets out of hand, then have at it, otherwise it is just discrimination in a different form.

You folks in the front row just rattle your jewelry.

When the "fix" seems in by the web of power, do not wait to go through all the procedures of hearings, etc. Codes and regulations can be danced around.

Ask those in South Waterfront about the greenway plans, and/or codes for height restrictions that were not adhered to and
what happened there as a result?

Do not depend on fairness here, the web of power tentacles are on your turf.

Begin recall petitions as soon as possible, if these first meetings do not look favorable.

The people of Wisconsin are a good example of what must be done across our country.

Unfortunately, the timing and other matters for Portland's recall of our Mayor failed. If it had succeeded, you may not have had all the "assistance" from our Mayor to push this light rail project into your area.

I just thought the memo was a little tame. I certainly don't want to add to the discrimination that the brave residents of Lake Oswego face everyday.

Does LO City Hall offer valet service? If not, I'll just have my Guatemalan gardener drop off my comment card on his way back out to Gresham. I'm all for civic engagement, but not if it's going to get my Jag all scratched up.

The folks in LO, like everywhere else, are being overrun by the planner class and politicians whose egos know no bounds, and, if not stopped, we will all be left with intolerable debt and a degraded town. Then watch the exodus of us old-timers to ..... where????

Many areas have been and are being overrun.
The West Hayden Island folks as another example who are battling to keep their livability.

Exodus to where is what is on the mind of many.

This is not because we want to go, but here in Portland, our once beloved City of Roses has been overrun by the City that Works (us over)!

There are those who are able to financially tolerate these abuses more than others, but many more cannot.

The intolerable debt and degraded city is a real problem no matter where one lives.

"Message to Lake Oswego:
Smart Growth density wrecked our neighborhood."

That hits the nail on the head... planners and their political and financial enablers don't see it as your neighborhood. That's why they're called planners... they're the ones making the 'master plan'.

You guys always miss the point, it's BIG MONEY!
And big money lines lots of pockets!

“Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.”
Ernest Hemingway quotes

This was a very polite letter, unlike Ellie McPeak's commentary in the Lake Oswego Review.

"I am bothered, though, by the kind of rhetoric being used against the streetcar by some opponents, including some elected officials who I believe should keep an open mind until they listen to the public at the council meeting on April 12th. These officials have been speaking against the streetcar for many months. I guess they see no reason to listen and maybe learn."

And yet we are led to believe, by the Streetcar supporters, the lies and half-truths, and that they refuse to keep an open mind themselves...

It might be interesting to see just whose pockets will be kind by this project and do they happen to live in the L/O and Dunthorpe areas?
And I'll bet money the tracks don't go anywhere near their houses!

Green Portland did not extend to our neighborhood.

Groves of huge trees
were taken down for development.

Based on recent events in Wisconsin, I wouldn't put too much faith in a public vote.

I agree with Nolo's comments on the inappropriateness of "characterizations" of LO. It's like saying Portland is all West Hills BlueBloods while the most of the city lives on $40,000 per household or less. Or biking is the preferred transit means of Portland, but only 2% bike, including the occasional biker. Gross generalizations. LO is diverse if you get beyond stereotyping.

Ben and others are also correct to not only dwell on this proposed trolley line in the context of LO. It affects the south end of South Waterfront URA, Johns Landing, SW Macadam, the Park's own park land of Macadam Bay of 7 acres, the Sellwood Bridge and Portland's mile long Powers Park along the Willamette.

There's concern in Portland's Parks Bureau (that will be coming out) about the negative environmental effects of the trolley as stated in its own Study.

There's neighborhood opposition developing when it was only recently disclosed that an LID in the Johns Landing and Macadam area is being proposed to help finance the trolley. Homes clear west to SW Corbett will be affected, besides all the businesses. And the present LID in South Waterfront will probably have funds taken for the trolley for the extension to its URA south border. An LID has been discussed for Foothills and downtown LO and 1st Addition, besides a new URA for LO.

Because of Metro Policy, the Macadam Plan District would have to be changed to allow for more height, density, congestion in the Johns Landing/Macadam area to Sellwood Bridge. Same would apply to LO. There will be serious LUBA and Appeals Court and Or Supreme Court challenges concerning the District, plus State and Portland Greenway Regulations appeals.

All citizens should become aware of the trolley consequences. It's not just LO. And it's funding consequences extend to all citizens of the area, the entire two cities, and actually to all of our state since federal, state taxes will be used to fund it. Don't rely on LO consultants like Matt Brown, or Homer Williams, or most Council members of either city to give all the facts. We have too many projects in our region that demonstrate how they fudge, hide and disguise the truth.

Bill and others - you are right! The rhetoric coming from streetcar opponents is far too polite and gentile. From my experience, most people do not like to speak up because they fear they will be shunned by the in-crowd. I'd love to see some recalls happen, but that would take political guts from people who are angry, but just not angry enough to take their fight public. I think it is a human thing, not a LO thing. In Pdx, people were afraid to donate money or sign petitions to recall Sam Adams because they felt their lives would be made difficult. In the recall arena, if you try, you'd better win.

I'm going on Tuesday to the meeting and will be the one rattling my jewelry and making noise. Maybe Jack Hoffman will have me carried out by his police bodyguard - that would be fun!

Intersting thta Mr Kehoe is taking this up, his brother is a pretty big developer.

No ones stopped TriMet yet, so we'll see.

For Christ's sake, why don't they just close down Macadam and Highway 43 and just install a trolley, MAX line, three bike lanes in each direction, and a path for roller skaters, too?

Forget the 98.5% of folks who need to drive their vehicles to and from a JOB and don't want to sit around in the rain and wait for the choo choo train. Time wasted sitting on mass transit is inefficient and costs money, too, don't they know. I bet no one has studied that component on top of the $493 B.S. budget they have floated thus far.

Were some of these street car advocates playing in the street at children - wrong place at the wrong time? Can that explain their aversion to the most common form of transportation in this country?

It affects the south end of South Waterfront URA, Johns Landing, SW Macadam, the Park's own park land of Macadam Bay of 7 acres, the Sellwood Bridge and Portland's mile long Powers Park along the Willamette.

All citizens should become aware of the trolley consequences. It's not just LO. And it's funding consequences extend to all citizens of the area, the entire two cities, and actually to all of our state since federal, state taxes will be used to fund it.

Thank you Lee for writing about this with clarity. If the promoters have their way, we won't recognize these areas after they are done. In my view, the changes and the LID will be devastating.

John's Landing alone, was one of the most charming places we had in our city, already has been changed with infill, but this would put the nail in the coffin to charming. Some of what I mean by charming is the human scale of a neighborhood, the small walkways and gardens, the old houses with character, the closeness to the river.

I imagine the vision by the promoters of this will be high rises cutting views of the river for those who live there now.
Do we really need more South Waterfront type glitz?

Fight for your neighborhood and your livability. These places are priceless.

There are always those who only see them as places to be redeveloped. They don't seem to care about the people who have lived there and cultivated their neighborhoods as special places to live.

It could be worse Nolo. When they hear "Lake Oswego," they think "rich folk." When they hear my home town, they think "Welches con man."

Mike Kehoe's peer on the council Jeff Gudman had a piece in today's O.
Community news-town hall


The third councilor Mary Olson also is opposed to the streetcar.

But also very encouraging is the Multnomah Co oppostion.

The only no vote on the steering committee was from Multnomah County commissioner Deborah Kafoury and word on the street is their board is about to vote against it.

Apparently the FTA does not like this sort of fractured support.

Tuesday night is huge.

Get there or email the city council.


copy the county commission


Many City planners worship at the alter of environmentalism.
The corrupt gov. class has partnered up with developers and do as they are paid to do. With words like, sustainable,green,environment,solar,wind,children,kittens and puppies. You would have to be a God fearing, homophobe, racist, capitalist pig to say " Enough with social engineering already ".

They have a pitchfork site up:


Welches - Wanna trade?
Even our elected officials think we're made of money. They have grand plans to redevelop the Foothills area which would entail moving a sewage treatment plant, two PGE substations, cut and fill in a floodplain, tear down an Albertsons for a parking garage to service the streetcar, and assume control of State Hyw.43 through Lo. Add to all of that a new scheme to acquire a block of downtown property for a 4-5 story mixed use building and you can see the redevelopment agency (aka the city council) has grand plans and an inflated idea of our capacity to pay for it all. They are using the "affordable housing" and "sustainable" rationale to gain public subsidies and buy-in for the development they want to see. There is NO economic validity to these plans or they would have been done by now the old fashioned way -by the developers themselves.

Except for the Chamber of Commerce and a few deluded residents, there is no community support for all of this-- at least not when people know the full extent of the "vision" and it's cost. I forgot to add the contractors, engineers, consultants, developers and bureaucrats who feed on these projects and the free money.

Let's all change the way business is done in Oregon and require a vote of the citizens before there is any redevelopment on the public's dime.

The racketeer thieves stole the construction excise tax from UGB expansion planning a doled it out.


Lake Oswego Foothills District Framework Plan - $295,000

The Foothills District Framework Plan will produce a comprehensive redevelopment plan consistent with Metro 2040 goals. When complete, the plan will establish a new regulatory framework and comprehensive infrastructure strategy, accelerating redevelopment activity. This effort complements the current Portland/Lake Oswego Streetcar project, which will terminate in the 120-acre Foothills District.

Portland South Waterfront: South Portland Partnership Plan - $250,000
This project will provide a comprehensive stakeholder process to refine the preferred design alternative for the South Portal Project, which will improve multi-modal access to the South Waterfront District. Refinement is necessary to reduce risks for area developers and allow progress on the Lake Oswego to Portland transit project.

Portland Portland-Milwaukie LRT Project: E-TOD Plan - $485,000
Development of an innovative employment based transit-oriented development

and more


Rather than my copy and paste, posted by Nolo april 9, 2011 9:45 AM - read again!

Nolo has it clear, exactly what this is all about. The detailed plans of the sewage treatment plant, the PGE substations, cut and fill in a floodplain and more - WOW!

The fill in a floodplain along with the rest looks like the people would be paying here beau coup bucks for an enormous amount of future development to come into their area, the changes eventually will be dramatic and very costly. I would venture to say you won't recognize the place/neighborhood/area you have lived in by the time these plans are pushed into your area.

LID - Local Improvement District - Tax??
Rue the day this could just be placed over an area. Do the people along the way get to vote on this?

Huge subsidized buildings "affordable housing" brought into our neighborhood after we were annexed into the city of Portland, ruined our nice area.

Neighborhoods are having to deal with the Metro and other plans that force negative changes.

Good luck in saving livable neighborhoods.

"LID - Local Improvement District - Tax??
Rue the day this could just be placed over an area. Do the people along the way get to vote on this?"

Vote? They aren't even told till the 11th hour. A LID is going to be established along Macadam. It will apply to at least to all properties from the river to Corbet.
It's my understanding they haven't been told.

OK, let's stop bashing Lake Oswego. I grew up in Portland and am no different than the rest of you -- disgusted by what has happened in our whole region. Once again, the special interests have stacked the decision against the taxpayers.

Stop the sniping about jewelry, Jack, and butlers, Bill, and help us beat the Transit Industrial Complex, as someone here so aptly named it.
Homer Williams and Dike Dame have wormed their way in with a development agreement for our Foothills floodplain. All the usual suspects: Metro, TriMet, Portland Streetcar, Inc. Sam, Earl, etc.

As someone said, this is a regional issue. KILL IT! Come down to L.O. Tuesday night and testify. Write to us: councildistibution@ci.oswego.or.us

And on Wed. April 20 at 9 a.m. go to PDX city council meeting on same topic. Fill the room people! See you there!

Is your meeting the 12th or the 19th, Mary?

Mary Olson,
Thank you for your response and ask.
Yes, we in Portland have had "the treatment" and I do not wish for those in Lake Oswego or anywhere to have to deal with this "web of power" that insists their plans "lucrative for them" will happen.

This is a regional issue and will be detrimental to all. We no longer can afford the usual suspects making these kind of very negative plans and decisions.

Our public hearing is this Tuesday, April 12th. We are scheduled to vote on the 19th. Thanks for your support!

If you are out shopping at your local Hoeme Depot for a pitchfork you will have
to wait a week as they are all sold out.
Here's my take on the LO Streetcar
This is serious stuff folks-no joke.

Kathe Worsley,
Thank you for your concern and information.

You wrote about the impact on the environment, where are the local environmental groups on this? Is what you wrote about OK with them?
If it is, then you may need to contact the national chapters of some of these organizations to let them know about the silence...or make a list of those that do not support you and see how many people will continue to contribute to "the silent ones" on these important issues.

The Audubon Society is one that did speak out to save Hayden Island. Unfortunately, Mayor Adams is involved with that mess too!

Audubon and the rest are bought and paid for on these boondoggles.

Just as the Willammete River Keepers, Audubon and the Coalition For a Livable Futre were with the Tram and SoWa's 325 ft towers across from eagle nests on Ross Island.

They get a steady stream of gov grants and other pay offs to stay out of the way.

Willamette RiverKeepers got a permanent headquaters in the river front Holman Building that the PDC gave to SoWa property owner and city vendor Group MacKenzie.

Audubon gets all sorts of grants from various government agencies.

I called Coalition and Riverkeepers as SoWa was progressing and they said they supported "smart growth".

Oh yeah, I forgot, it's smart not cot corrupted.

I am afraid you are right.
This lock step support of "smart growth" has gone too far.

It is time the people of our community understand how these groups apparently are compromised. I find people are puzzled when they are told these various groups have for the most part have not stepped up to help.

Do some of them consider Portland a sacrifice zone then for their cause which I guess is to infill and destroy the good within the UGB if need be in order to to hold that line.

Wonder what they all think when the line is moved and sprawl appears anyway? Not new well thought out development but the same old step and repeat bad sprawl.

My response is that this is where we live, and the quality of our life of where we all actually do live should not be sacrificed for this UGB agenda.

But most likely to no avail, the mantra of "smart growth" and "UGB" has been pounded pretty heavily. I disagree and don't want to write an essay on it now, as I have talked about it before on this blog.

Does it count as corruption if the mayor of Lake O, at the eleventh hour before the vote on this boondoggle, confesses that, as a practicing attorney, he has one Homer Williams as a client?

This begs the question: is Jack Hoffman mayor of Lake Oswego because he supports capital spending projects worth tens of millions to his clients? Or is he mayor because he is just a civic minded public servant?

Ten seconds to answer......

CT -- Yes - to the first question.

Portland's Ariel Tram cost $57M; approximately 4 times the budgetary estimate. Using that track record, the LO rail system should cost $1-2 BILLION. With a population of ~50,000 in LO and along the route, spends $20,000-$40,000 for every man, woman, and child; call it $100,000 per household. Ask the proponents to write the first checks for their families' share and see how much they support this.

Also, the operating cost of the Tram is almost double the estimate. The council need to learn a lesson my father taught me - "Don't buy what you don't need."

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