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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 31, 2012 8:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was And they both love condos. The next post in this blog is Portland car haters' next target. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bureaucratic Mystery of the Week

Helping students stay in school is a great cause, and helping them get into college with the financial aid they deserve is, too. But why is Portland City Hall involved in it, and in particularly, why is the city's parks department in the picture? The parks department does not even have the money to maintain its assets. Why is it also doing what the school board should be doing?

Comments (10)

Oh, no. We have several similar programs with agencies in Dallas, and the goal is laudable. The problem in Dallas is that the programs, and the subsequent jobs in the agency, go to children and friends of political patrons, with the idea of cementing power within the agency. (And if that wasn't bad enough, then you get different factions within the organization fighting each other over which kid or friend's kid gets the latest workfare position. Thirteen years ago, I worked for one such agency, and lasted three months before moving on. It wasn't just that most of these patronage positions were filled with characters charitably described as "free-range Soylent Green." It was that the only thing they cared about was keeping the other side from getting an advantage, to the detriment of the whole agency.)

I have no idea why this is a Parks project. But meanwhile, the Bureau is shopping around a list of proposed cuts, including possibly shutting all rest rooms at parks and ending regular trash pick-up. These seem like pretty essential services, compared with college enrollment assistance.

Hard to say what the thinking is behind this. Could be standard liberal thinking where every perceived problem must have a government directed, taxpayer funded solution.

Or it could be that Sam likes young men so he has a staffer out trolling for them on the public's dime.

I think I agree with the triffid rancher. It has the odor of some sort of a preferred patronage thing. Who qualifies for assistance? Who makes the decision?

Also, the Parks Bureau is another pot to raid for special purposes.

The Parks Dept. is a partner, the funding is from the Mayor's Office. Most of these trainings and workshops will be taking place in community centers - run by the Parks Dept. These centers, unlike schools, are open in the evening - if you want to open a school when it is usually closed there are a lot of costs/personnel involved. Also, they have some of the equipment (computers) already onsite and paid for.

It says in the article:

"Future Connect is funded by a grant the Mayor's Office secured from Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Currently, VISTA members work as community strategy coordinators at Matt Dishman, East Portland and Mt. Scott Community Centers."

Those volunteers are already working out of Parks Dept. community centers...makes sense to me.

While I agree that schools should hve better college prep offices and counselors to staff them...well, they just don't. At least this gives kids and their families who need that help necessary resources.

I am a skeptic by nature, esp. regarding public funds and what is done with them (I've done nonprofit grants work for over 20 years, don't even get me started ;o)...but even I think this is fine and appropriate. IMO, nothing to see here, move on.

The VISTA volunteers at the community centers might have been free, or if not, certainly much cheaper than 3 city FTEs. They're "white-collar" volunteers part of the AmeriCorps program. Depending on need, Parks might have gotten them for free (subsidized by federal taxpayers), or they agreed to "cost-share" them, in which case they would have paid around $10-$15K per year per VISTA. I know, paying for "volunteers" seems oxymoronic (or just moronic), but the VISTAs can take on just about all of the responsibilities a low-level Parks employee would be given for a fraction of the salary, bennies, and PERS that would have to be paid for that Parks employee. And helping the kids is probably just one of their duties along with other, more parks-and-recreation oriented tasks.

I see the $500,000 for scholarships as being the sketchier element here. I could be misremembering, but I think Sam got that money out of the Water Bureau and/or the $20 million in construction "savings" he diverted from BES.

Good heavens, Jack. I'm surprised at you.

The Parks Department is involved so that the city can siphon off whatever cash can be made off with to do whatever it wants with it.

Think Water Bureau.

I fully expect a future increase in taxes "earmarked" to maintain the city's beautiful parks as havens for drunks, gangstas, intravenous drug users, Occupiers, and other assorted lowlifes.

500K of general fund money (no matter the label) should not be spent on scholarships period.

This is the same parks bureau that is currently proposing to close two community centers (Fulton and Hillside) so the will be able to water non-sports field grass over the summer.

Yes, let's close down numerous thriving preschool programs so the grass can get watered. Just plain stupid.

If the city can give away money to "non-profit" X for no reason at all then they can do the same for non-profit Y. It is just a wide open door to be arbitrary. The most appropriate way to close the door is to stop ALL gifting to non-profits from extracted tax money -- and likewise to stop ALL tweaks to make non-sense "pencil out" with a profit.

I am a non-profit.

Just think of tax dollars like you would the .22 in State v. Florea, 296 Or 500 (1984)

Defendant's main attack is on the phrase "official duties." The phrase is not further defined in the criminal code. Defendant argues that because the statute applies to a great variety of public servants whose duties are not fixed by any law, written job description, or other document, judges and juries will not be able to refer to any fixed standard, and potential defendants themselves cannot clearly determine just what their "official duties" are. We doubt that the reference to "official duties" poses a genuine problem. If there is a problem, it is in determining what is "unauthorized."

The statute requires these elements: (1) The defendant must be a "public servant."2 (2) He or she must knowingly perform an act. (3) The act must be performed "in" his or her official duties; that is to say, in the defendant's official capacity, exercising the powers or opportunities available by virtue of his or her official position. (4) The act must be an unauthorized exercise of this official capacity, power, or opportunity. (5) The act must be done "with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another." Neither a public servant nor a judge or jury should have a conceptual problem with the requirement that the act be performed in one's official capacity or in exercising the power of one's official position, although this of course may be a disputed factual issue in a given case.3 Certainly this element should pose no question of definiteness for a police chief who appropriates for his personal disposition firearms confiscated by the police in the course of law enforcement.

What is "unauthorized" will often be a conclusion of law on which a judge will instruct the jury. It may be an issue of fact when there is a dispute what directives were given an employee by his or her superior and the purported directives did not exceed permissible authorization as a matter of law. Again, no such issue of purported authorization is presented in this case. The statute does not leave a judge or, under proper instructions, a jury with unconstrained discretion to define a crime. Even though a question of a public servant's authority may be one of first impression in a court, it is governed by sources of law and delegated authorization outside the criminal code itself, sources to which a public official in any event must turn in order properly to understand his or her job. If there is vagueness, it does not lie in ORS 164.415(1) (b). The trial court did not err in overruling defendant's demurrer to the indictment.

Meanwhile I am trying to figure out how best to politely tell the General Counsel of the Oregon State Bar (and the AG) that this also applies for the contract between the OSB and FastCase. No public servant likes to have their hands tied. It is like a personal challenge to their moral integrity or something. They take it as a personal affront, as a gratuitous insult. The ordinary demands of democracy are deemed to be the real evil.


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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
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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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
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
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
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Richard Adams - Watership Down
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Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
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Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
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Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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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
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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
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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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
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
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In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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