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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 13, 2012 8:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Chuckle of the Week. The next post in this blog is Sam Adams's next gig?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, February 13, 2012

Partners in crime

If it weren't already crystal clear where Tri-Met is coming from these days -- ripping out a perfectly good bus system and replacing it with an array of inconvenient and dangerous trains -- it's impossible to miss the message here. The Tri-Met general manager is going in front of the Portland City Club next week to speak on "Moving Forward While Cutting Back." And who is he bringing along to do some of his talking for him? A dandy dude from CH2M Hill.

Who is CH2M Hill? We'll give you a hint: they're not into bus maintenance. CH2M Hill is into real estate development and giant construction projects.

And therein lies the problem. Real estate developers want railroad tracks next to their apartment bunkers, just long enough to load in some tenants, flip the property, and move on to the next deal. They could care less how awful it is to ride the public buses and trains. They just want public money to make their lives "pencil out," and keep the lobster bisque flowing at the Arlington Club.

The future of Tri-Met is in bankruptcy. And you know what? CH2M Hill won't be there with them that day.

Comments (7)

Well, yeah.

They need planning and construction consultants. Just like they need legal advice.

So, where's the condemnation of the legal firms and/or individuals who are complicit in this? These clowns aren't operating without protection....who is providing legal coverage?

Jack's right, it is about developers wanting urban renewal, transit projects for their next projects in our great, intact neighborhood of our city to eliminate blight.

The proof is even written down in the newest January CH2MHILL/Leland Consulting Group document "Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project-Johns Landing Development Assessment"-a recent taxpayer funded "study" to entice continuation of the "suspended" streetcar to LO.

"The Streetcar was seen by virtually all parties interviews as a strong positive asset for the neighborhood". Sure, all parties interviewed were a few developers.

"...the streetcar brings the following quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits to their projects:

Ability to decrease parking ratios..

Ability to increase density...

The intangible or non-quantifiable benefits are the buzz, activity and place making influence of streetcars."

And one of the "TOD Challenges in Johns Landing" is "Zoning"...Developers interviewed stated that one of the ways to facilitate development in Johns Landing would be to adjust the zoning surrounding Macadam Avenue to allow five and six story buildings."

"FARs should be increased to 4:1 [from 2:1-100% increase]" and "building heights should be between 65 and 75 feet [now 35 and 45 ft]." The last planning bureau study of build out in Johns Landing at 2:1 FAR showed that Johns Landing was only 50% built out. Why does zoning need to be increased 100%?

"Streetcars and other rail transit are rightly viewed by policy makers, developers, and others as having a positive impact on adjacent TOD". Ah, what about the views of the 8000 people who now live in the South Portland neighborhood? Or the SW neighborhoods impacted by the congestion that would be caused by streetcar going down Macadam to the four major regional vehicular routes through South Portland?

This whole study was from the viewpoint of TriMet, Metro, CoP and the DEVELOPERS. Not one survey of the citizens impacted was ever made, but they foist it off to the City Council by stating:

..."the Portland City Council sought a better understanding of the potential for transit-oriented development (TOD) in the Johns Landing segment...", and

...The streetcar was seen by virtually all parties interviewed as a strong positive asset for the neighborhood...".
Again, where is the real neighborhood input?

David Knowles the "dandy dude" from CH2M-Hill:

  • Organizer of Rail-volution.
  • Former Portland Planning director, replaced by Gil "SoWhat" Kelley.
  • Candidate to head PDC. He and Charlie Hales lost out to Bruce Warner.
  • Cheerleader for Airport MAX.
  • Made enemies in SW neighborhoods for favoring "professionals" (e.g., developers) over citizens.
  • Oversaw the failure known as the Rose Quarter

Neil McFarlane was everything I predicted him to be. His past history is of a Project Manager - in other words, he's great at seeing projects started and built. But the very minute that the project is turned over from construction to operations, he jumps onto the next project.

He has ZERO actual day-to-day operations experience. None. He's a builder. He managed the Convention Center construction, several MAX lines, WES...but he has no concept of actually running a system that's already built.

And it shows, at TriMet. He has no interest in the bus system - a system that's now over 40 years old. He wants to build. He wants more rail. Damned be those bus riders. Heck, damned be those annoying Portland-Gresham light rail riders who want more security...he isn't concerned with those little details. But ask for new light rail cars, or new train stations - he lights up.

There's a lot of angry people in transit circles about how there is a proposal to remove transit funding from the gas tax. This is precisely the reason why I'm all for that. We have the situation right here in Portland where there is seemingly unlimited money to build...but no money to operate. Who gets the short end of the stick? Why, bus riders must feel like they are a pinata in Portland...getting smacked around by a bunch of transit planners ready for the bottom to burst out. McFarlane is the wrong guy for the wrong job at the wrong time...and TriMet made it clear that there was going to be no discussion when they named him GM. The Board knew exactly what they were doing, so the Board is equally guilty of dereliction of duty to the entire system and the bus riders - and those neighborhoods that are served exclusively by bus.

And the only guy that has any say in the matter - the Governor - is painfully ignorant of the situation, either because he doesn't care, or can't care. There are those folks who say Metro - and its elected board - can do better, but Metro is the agency that is egging TriMet on to build more light rail, as its role in the transportation system is only that of a funding partner for capital projects, and like McFarlane has zero operating experience, unless you count the zoo, some theaters, and some cemeteries. And Metro's track record with those cemeteries is not exactly great; Metro's financial oversight of the zoo has been questioned.

The Legislature doesn't want to burden itself with a problem that is confined to just three counties.

To paraphrase the "Occupy Somewhere" folks...maybe the 99%ers need to stand up to the 1% that is TriMet's Board, General Manager, Metro, the City of Portland...start demanding that transit actually serve the public and not be a corporate welfare scheme for developers and consultants to build rail at any cost...

I don't know about you, but I'm glad to see Mr. Knowles coming along. It's always so sad to see a puppet without someone hand jammed up its butt to make it talk.

How Portland got sucked into the CHURCH OF LIGHT RAIL- starring the SIMPSONS:

Simpsons - Monorail - YouTube

Here is the LONG version of that great Simpsons episode which pokes fun at the foolishness and wasteful nature of light rail construction.

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
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
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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

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
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
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
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: 8
At this date last year: 0
Total run in 2018: 10
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
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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