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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 28, 2011 8:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was A light goes out. The next post in this blog is Blogger barred from executive session of higher ed board. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, November 28, 2011

Portland population growth slows to a crawl

The population estimators at Portland State University (motto: "With Density and Condos for All") have released their latest figures for the population of the state and its cities and counties, and their Portland number is quite noteworthy. On a preliminary basis, PSU puts the population within the city limits as of July 1, 2011 at 585,845 -- a mere 0.35% increase over last year's 583,775, a count that had hard census data to back it up. The three-year compound growth rate is 0.57%, and the five-year compound growth rate is 0.81%.

The sustainable-equitable-yada-yada planning cabal keeps packing in the city's neighborhoods with junk infill on the theory that millions of people are moving to Portland any minute now, but that premise is simply false. The net in-migration to the city over the past year was a mere 2,070 people.

We've been using 1.4% as the annual growth rate on our Portland per-capita debt clock, but it's obviously too high. And so we've cut it back to 0.7%. At that rate, it will take an entire century for the city's population to double, and 20 years from now, the population will still be under 675,000. It's hard to deny that the high-rise schlock that the city is subsidizing and otherwise forcing on its residents is based on a bogus assumption.

Comments (20)

What is really interesting is that Washington County has grown faster that Multnomah County since 2000. WashCo added 10,000 more people than MultCo and its annual growth rate was 0.65 percentage points higher than MultCo.

Washington County will be bigger than Multnomah county in 10 years. It's already happening since they had to give Earl some districts just recently.

I doubt if the snotty planners who want everyone in condos will admit it, but some people are just behind the curve.

My medium-term goal is to move to a place with weekly garbage pickup.

Growth in the Pearl and inner West side is what's important. So who cares about the others?

San Francisco has added a lot of high rises in the last 70 years. Their population hasn't changed much in that time.

As my grandmother used to say, "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump off after him?"

David: It is not at all uncommon for people in San Francisco to own or rent an apartment in SF and have a home outside of the city where they live on weekends.

Portland has had a net out migration. The change in population cited is due to natural growth (births minus deaths). The city is hurting for three basic reasons.

#1 There is little or no private sector job growth, and you need that to pay for public services and maintain households.

#2 It is really expensive to live here.

#3 The quality of the public services has deteriorated (schools, buses, and other things). When service quality declines, the productivity of the workforce is compromised and that leads to higher poverty, out migration, etc. The decline in quality is due in large part by poor cost control and a perverse focus on building rather than operating.

Sorry, I meant net out migration.

Well, so much for the idea that somehow the creative class will save Portland, too. I suspect a lot of this emigration comes from a lot of transplants who couldn't get Mommy and Daddy to pay their rent while they were working hard at being seen at Stumptown Coffee, er, I mean, working hard on their book or movie deals. Heck, the downturn might even get hipster populations down to manageable levels, where all anyone will need is regular spraying instead of nuking the entire site from orbit.

Portlandia can no longer pay for basic vector control.
Therefore regular spraying has been suspended until further notice.

I wonder how much of the change (or lack thereof) has to do with the loss of child households that have four or more occupants, and replaced with smaller, childless households of just one or two occupants - the result being a net increase in the number of housing units (more "homes") but a decrease in the space per person.

Portland may believe that having fewer children might be "sustainable" from a development standpoint, but societies that do not produce children typically don't last very long. Right now Japan is in a lot of hurt because of its increasing age and the social costs and healthcare costs of an aging population that is not being backfilled by younger occupants (many of whom can't find jobs). I guess Sam Adams' goal is to turn Portland into Japan - a country in which all the development is squeezed into small, defined areas, where everyone gets around on crowded and packed trains (at least in Japan they are narrow gauge except the Shinkansen which is the only standard gauge train in the country), and where suicides are a very common problem (that's what we have the Fremont Bridge for).

The recent Census data did not show what the planner-types wanted it to. It showed that despite all the "smart growth" dogma, suburbs continue to attract more growth than core cities, across the nation.

Metro-types are now betting that people who move to Hillsboro or Beaverton want to live in "dense" condos and never expand the UGB. I'm betting they are wrong. This tension will eventually cause the Metro planning system to break, but that will be very slow motion. Could take a couple more decades.

Stop resisting. You're gonna love it!

2050: Our cities are composed of compact “urban villages”, each a community in its own right with schools, churches, libraries, stores and other necessary services within a 15-minute walk. Roofs, roads and other paved surfaces are light in color to reduce the “urban heat island” effect. Parks and green spaces are sprinkled throughout the urban villages, further reducing the need for cooling and providing people with places to enjoy natural beauty. Public transit has become so safe, efficient and appealing that few urban residents own cars. America no longer imports any petroleum and uses virtually no oil. Coal mining stopped long ago, as coal-fired electricity grew more expensive than power from sunlight, wind and geothermal resources. Price spikes, supply disruptions, air pollution, mercury pollution, Middle Eastern wars, high trade imbalances, perverse foreign policies and “resource wars” are memories. No one asks why we’re not using fossil energy any more. Instead, we ask why we didn’t stop much sooner.
Motivated by astronomical insurance rates, communities have moved out of disaster-prone areas along rivers and coasts. Those areas now are public access beaches, nature preserves and recreational sites. Levees, dams and other “disaster control” structures have fallen into disfavor because they failed under the increasing pressures of severe weather attributed to global warming. Instead, regions have restored wetlands, replanted watersheds and put the meander back into rivers — in other words, big structures named after Congressmen have given way to natural systems to prevent disasters.

The only thing that will save Portland from the construction mafia is a bond collapse- hang on its coming.

On the other hand, when the coast sinks into the ocean with our overdue 9.0 quake, just think of the all those high-rise condos with an ocean view...

The "new urbanists" are starting to set their sights on "downtown" Tigard centered around the WES station (oh, yeah, there's also a transit center there).

What's amazing is looking at the cores of downtowns in which the cities simply worked with property owners and businesses, rather than force-fed massive improvements (usually around a streetcar or light rail line) at high costs.

Look at Astoria, or Seaside, or Forest Grove, or McMinnville, or Silverton, or Hood River, or even Eugene, Albany, or Corvallis. Look at towns like Leavenworth and Winthrop, Washington - that remade themselves simply by theming their towns (with cooperation from the businesses). All of those towns' downtown districts are thriving (McMinnville's ought to be a case study in how WalMart did NOT kill off a downtown - downtown actually grew after WalMart moved in, but a "starter" K-Mart did close) and didn't require streetcar gimmicks.

Tigard, unfortunately, has been bribed by the Metro mafia..."Do as we say" (want light rail and urban renewal) "or we take your money from you" (regional transportation funding). In fact the recent Highway 99W/Greenburg/Main/Hall project - despite involving two state highways - had to be paid for by a city gas tax. Meanwhile ODOT pours the money onto TriMet light rail projects, and TriMet even agreed not to ask for ODOT money for buses for five years.

Metro ought to be investigated as a criminal enterprise. And no city should be forced to accept Metro's desires in exchange for transportation funding. No city should be held hostage to Metro...frankly, if Metro were disbanded, the City of Portland's influence would all but disappear, and the suburbs would be free to do as they please - benefitting the entire region.

...No city should be held hostage to Metro...

But we were! Remember being at meetings if any objection or an attempt at an open discussion, the discussion could simply be dismissed quite easily by saying that we have to adhere to Metro...
end of discussion.

Why should we continue to have Metro prevail and dictate what is livable?

Why should we continue to have Metro prevail and dictate what is livable?
JK: Because:
1. Metro is saving farm land (for growing potted plants)

2. Metro is saving the earth from climate change (which always changes and always will.)

3. Metro is getting us ready for the end of oil (which is suddenly being found all over the place.)

A real hoot is to look at the very first documents Metro produced with its Metro's Future Vision Commission Reports at

And don’t miss Metro Measured which mentions Metro’s desire to replicate Los Angeles!

In short, metro is run by a bunch of deluded fools who have always ignored people’s wishes. And lied to people to get their way - a prime example being Rex Burkholder’s confusing the voters with a do nothing measure competing with a citizen’s initiative to limit density in our neighborhoods (see


#2 It is really expensive to live here.

I was just reading an article yesterday in which a woman, having obtained her license as a skin-care specialist, moved from Orange County to Portland because - despite having multiple room-mates, she couldn't afford the rent.

Apparently, you can be a skin-care specialist in Portland and still find a place to live.

Apparently "livability" is defined as "Well, the housing is cheaper than California"...and if you're a native Oregonian, screw you because there's five Californians that'll gladly buy your house.


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

In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
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Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
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Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
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Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
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Portuga, Rose 2013
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Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
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Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
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Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
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Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
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Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
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
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 61
At this date last year: 97
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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