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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In with the bike swag

Our bag full of biking and walking goodies arrived the other day from the City of Portland -- hand-delivered to our doorstep. It had in it all the gear we ordered, including an umbrella and a pedometer along with a slew of bike maps and other "multi-modal" propaganda. It's stunning how many millions of dollars have been spent on this stuff -- we figured we might as well get our share.

But included in the package was something we didn't order -- a whole bunch of water conservation gadgets from the water bureau. Shower heads that don't give out much water, faucet aerators that restrict flow, toilet leak testers, brochures galore -- even a garden hose nozzle that automatically frustrates you if you try to water too long. But the best part was this:

Ah, the mission of the water bureau -- it's forever growing.

But most distressing, the water swag all came in a clear plastic bag! A plastic bag, people -- from Portland City Hall, for crying out loud! Plastic, hideous plastic, awful plastic, which is destroying life as we know it! It clogs our recycling machinery, it suffocates the whales, it exacerbates Peak Oil! And yet the water bureau is still using plastic bags. Disgraceful. When it comes down to a choice between propaganda and care for the earth, we seriously wonder where the Sam-Rand priorities lie.

Comments (18)

It's always from the bottom -up, rather than lead by example.

If this was a "real" issue the target should be the corporations that PRODUCE the darn things, however . . .

. . . with +/- 50% registered voter turnout who cares?

I got mine the other day too, and found out that my 15 year old daughter has a different defination of swag.

Presumably, she rode up on her bicycle to deliver the goods. That's what she did a couple of years ago when we got our goodie-bag. We got the pedometer, a spiffy little velcro thing reading "Bike City USA" that's supposed to keep your pants from getting caught in the chain, bike maps. a "ten-toe express" pad of note-paper, and a low-flow shower-head and some faucet fittings designed to reduce water output.

We didn't get any seeds - apparently, they're upgrading. Hey - if you don't want 'em, I'm calling first dibs: after all, they are Bush beans! My daughter won't eat them either; more for me!

Oh, we also got coupons for "free" energy audit, and money off if we want to upgrade our furnace to one that's more energy-efficient. Maybe the beans cost less?

Can you feed it to your backyard goats and/or is it compostible?

You have to read the micro print near the bottom seal....

Reminds me, I gotta plant some Swiss Chard.

Well, if you look on the bright side, Territorial seeds are the best you can get for our region. The plants are hardy and developed specifically for our climate for maximum production. Spendier than the generic Burpee seed packets at the grocery store though.

Bean seeds not!

What folks will need and soon are tips on how to kill, gut and dress a chicken or rabbit and please, please don't burn the fur or feathers.

I'm only surprised they aren't hemp seeds.

We have a water department actively engaged in behavior modification, but you can pee in a reservoir without consequence.

We have a Department of Transportation that can spend hundreds of millions for bikeways, but not a penny for sidewalks.

The Mayor is trying to downsize an interstate bottleneck claiming it's too expensive, while building a light-rail bridge we don't need.

If you need a Tram or a Soccer Stadium, we will always find the money: but neighborhood streets can only be funded via LID.

Portlanders deserve what they get.

Ha ha. Portland suckers.

Thanks to my sustainability minded folks here in Tigard, they offered me trees. Real, live trees. And guess what? When I ordered them (four of them!), they actually sent a crew to plant them! So my front yard now has four beautiful, young trees that will grow and provide shade for my home and oxygen to breathe.

And no plastic. (If I want the official city bike map, I can just get it online or at the Tigard Library or City Hall, without having to go from Powell & 160th all the way downtown to get it.)

Oh, we also got coupons for "free" energy audit

Yeah, any PGE, Pacific Power or Northwest Natural customer can get that "free" energy audit. Which means the only people in Portland who can't get it are those who are off-the-grid.

Proof positive now that Randy Leonard and the Portland Water Bureau are full of beans.

I remember the days when Portland used to give you a tree for your parking strip, free for the asking. No more -- that money's for streetcars now.

Metro has been giving away garden hose sprayers. I haven't tried mine yet, but I will compare it to the one I got from the City of LO. Along with my new shower head for the son's bathroom (I still like the real thing), the kitchen and bath aereators, and the cool hose timer so I can water away while I am out and a out. Thanks government! What did people do without our local governments and their offspring the nonprofits who work with public (and some private) grants. I forgot to add that the Clackamas River Water Providers is giving out other water-saving gizmos plus a really crappy pencil made from recycled denim. Any pencil that can't scribe a legibly dark line is a waste of graphite.

The thing I am ticked off about (besides the horrendous waste of taxpayer money giving out cheap stuff that will inevitably wi d up in a landfill), mission creep and the shameless self-promotion by gov. employees who need to justify their jobs/existance/importance with programs and propoganda that makes a statement. Can anyone tell me why Metro is now in the gardening business? They employ a professional who makes people sign a pledge to keep their yard chemical free before they will give you one of their many slickly printed books on composting, native plants, bad chemicals and the like. That's OUR money in those stacks of paper - if you want a booklet or flyer, take it! I still don't know why everyone is in the sustainabity "business" using OPM. For our own good I guess. And theirs. But I suspect mostly theirs.

Bush league beans from bush league gummint! My pole beans are much tastier, and I don't have to bend over to harvest 'em.

There's a Jack and the Beanstalk metaphor in here somewhere, but its too early to think that hard...

Exactly WHO are these people who promote this crap?
How did the bike lobby become so strong? And what do they get out of this promotion of biking and walking?
I have always maintained the old adage to "follow the money", but the trail goes cold for me on this issue.
Let's find out!

Portland Native, there's a good reason why the bike lobby became so strong. To get that involved in local politics, having a real job gets in the way.

portland native,
I haven't had time to do research but suspect that dollars are being used to PR and market our city as the "bike nirvana" for all to come here.

Enough of them, and they can keep "pedaling" the insiders agenda?

When it comes down to a choice between propaganda and care for the earth, we seriously wonder where the Sam-Rand priorities lie.

Afraid it is all about propaganda now, and obviously not about the care for the earth or the people.

Puppets and hypocrisy reign here.

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