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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 14, 2011 6:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Occupy Portland game wears on. The next post in this blog is Money for nothing. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

At least it's a *local* rathole

Here's a twist on the story of the financial abyss known as the Milwaukie MAX project: Oregon Iron Works, the local streetcar manufacturer, has reportedly been named a finalist in the competition to become a subcontractor of the Swiss outfit that's got the contract to build the light rail cars. That would certainly help the forces pushing the Mystery Train boondoggle to sell it as a local "jobs" program.

But it would be a whole lot better for the future of this region if the billion-dollars-plus about to be blown on the thing were spent on something more important and useful. We could think of a hundred better uses for that kind of dough.

And given Tri-Met's terrible track record in buying trains, both the Swiss contractor and any of its subcontractors need to be approached with extreme caution. Getting a Tri-Met rail contract these days is not particularly a good omen.

Comments (9)

If I remember correctly the steel for the rails came to us from the U.S. territory China. I was just looking around to confirm and hit Wikipedia, here's the list of future projects we are going to have shoved in the darker portions of our body.

TriMet has indicated that additional extensions have been studied or discussed with Metro and cities in the region.[32][33] These proposed extensions include:

* Line via Barbur Blvd.
* Line via Powell/Foster Blvd.
* Line to Damascus & Boring
* Extension from Milwaukie and/or Clackamas Town Center to Oregon City

I hope you aren't counting the PDX-to-LO Streetcar. We citizens have yet to vote on this boondoggle. This one ain't gonna happen.

The subsidiary, United, has never delivered a finished product.

Trains and bikes, full speed ahead! Damn the people and to hell with the local economy! The right people will just move here and displace the ingrates anyways!

Welcome to Portland!

Max is correct - United Streetcar has not a single, finished product to show for its how many years in business? It isn't as though they had to design something from the ground up (i.e. Boeing 787, Airbus A380) - they licensed the design, the blueprints - everything, from Inkeon.

Remember the last time TriMet bought from an untested, unproven vendor? TriMet was forced to bail out Colorado Railcar, send TriMet employees to Colorado to run the company and make sure the bills and payroll were made - AT THE SAME TIME TRIMET WAS CUTTING LOCAL BUS SERVICES IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE BAILOUT!!!

Remember the time before that? TriMet, back in 1980-1981, bought a bunch of articulated buses from a company called Ikarus Bus, a Hungarian concern. They in turn contracted out the U.S. assembly of the buses to a company called Crown Coach - a then well respected manufacturer of school buses (that often had service lives of 40, 50 years!!) Thus, the Crown-Ikarus Articulated Bus. Remember how many problems TriMet had with those buses? They constantly broke down; the wheelchair lifts had to be removed... The fiasco that resulted ended up with Crown Coach - again, previously a VERY well respected business - going out of business.

So, since when was TriMet a venture capital firm designed to shore up new ventures? I don't recall that being part of TriMet's mission. TriMet's job is to move people.

There needs to be a stop to the madness.

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Budget has $90 million in it for light rail cars.

But all of the Portland, TriMet & Metro supporters do not care how much anything costs or how much of the public does not want what they are forcing upon our communities.

They are a bunch of conniving and dishonest totalitarians hell bent on imposing their fanaticism upon the public. They conspire to prohibit public votes, enact new fees and rig every commission and committee with clones.

And when the public attempts to intervene with public votes they band together and try to crush them.

Clackamas County, Lake Oswego and Milwaukie have been saying NO for years and now it is becoming torches and pitchforks time with new initiatives to stop these despicable imposers.

When were they "declared" a finalist for a PMLR subcontract?

Today's article would have you believe that they just found out.

Odd since they were the largest donor to defeat the Clackamas citizens UR measure which threatened the primary funding source for Clackamas' contribution to PMLR.

They made a $10k donation to support the Clack Commissioners' decoy measure almost 3 months ago.

Same sort of thing happened with the Sellwood Bridge fee vote. An out of state contractor put up $25k to support the bridge fee campaign.

But they weren't awarded the contract until months later.

The local press routinely ignores blatant pay-to-play connections. Every once in a while Nigel will sniff around but he's mostly interested in Portland (and WW has a soft spot for light rail anyway).

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Budget has $90 million in it for light rail cars.

At $425,000 a pop, TriMet could use the $90 million and purchase 210 brand new 40' buses. That would be sufficient to replace all remaining 1400, 1600, 1700, 1800 and 1900 series buses (built prior to 1995, least efficient, least reliable, high floor, no air conditioning), and possibly even the first 2000 series buses.

At $550,000 a pop, TriMet could instead buy 160 hybrid-electric buses - less fuel economy, lower pollution and lower maintenance expense, but identical capacity to the above vehicles. Higher reliability would allow for the reduction in TriMet's contingency fleet, and lower fuel burn would result in operational savings that could be used to increase service hours (keep the buses on the road longer).

At $600,000 a pop, TriMet could purchase 150 articulated buses - while fewer in quantity, each bus would have 40% higher capacity than the older buses. These would also be low-floor buses with A/C and all of the other benefits of a new, technologically current vehicle. Fewer buses with greater capacity could mean reducing service on some routes to 20 minute headways (instead of 15-18 minutes), lowering both fuel and labor expense, while maintaining equal capacity or in some cases increasing capacity.)

At $750,000 a pop, TriMet could purchase 120 articulated, hybrid-electric buses. Best of all worlds.

At $1M a pop, TriMet could purchase 90 Bus Rapid Transit, articulated, hybrid-electric buses (like Eugene's EmX buses). This would be sufficient to equip a half dozen new BRT routes along T.V. Highway, Barbur, McLoughlin, Powell, Division and 82nd Avenue. (Two routes entirely within Multnomah County, two routes that connect Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, one route that connects Multnomah and Washington County, and one route entirely within Washington County.)

AND...the $90 million is still a capital expense - not an operating expense, as TriMet claims that bus replacements are.

Unless I'm mistaken, this falls in line with Portland's Climate Action Plan which city council members and county commissioners committed the residents of Portland and Multnomah County to without their approval. I do not believe Clackamas County signed on to it, though I suppose they could at any time without warning.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
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
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
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
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Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
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G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
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Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
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Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
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Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
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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
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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
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
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
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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