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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 22, 2012 12:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was Admiral Randy plays Walt Disney. The next post in this blog is PDC: Nothing to see here, go on about your business. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Them changes

By far the funniest show on Portland television last night was Channel 8 News. Reporter Reggie Aqui covered the hilarious Lake Oswego City Council meeting at which public access to the lake was being discussed. The lame duck mayor and the members of the council said "preserve the status quo" about a dozen times. Must-see TV.

Eventually, the enviros will likely have their way on this issue, although not without a lengthy court fight and probably some action in the state legislature. Then life in L.O. will never be the same. Just ask Portlanders who faint when they open their sewer bills and pay through the nose for the Big Pipe project: Sometimes you've got to follow the law like everyone else, whether you like it or not.

Comments (14)

I can hardly wait to go camping at Lake Oswego. The public campgrounds should be pretty nice. Maybe they can put them on the South Shore...near the Pamplin place.

The problem I have with this one is that Lake Oswego was more or less a non-navigable swamp/creek running through private property before private interests improved it on their own dime, for their own benefit, over a century ago. Originally the town was called Oswego and the creek that they dammed up, Sucker Creek, was not semi-navigable until the dam was built some time in the 1860's. Old photographs show a medium sized creek with rapids that you couldn't float with an inner-tube if you tried. It seems as though there would be a takings clause argument when a group of private land owners improve land which by virtue of the improvement becomes public, and then the government steps in and claims it as public domain after all the money and time has been put into it by private citizens. The homeowners have also poured millions into improving and maintaining the lake over the decades. If the lake gets converted to public use, and the homeowners prevail in their takings lawsuit, the damages will be tremendous because property values around the lake will plummet.

Let Lake O be public, but all the "foreigners" have to arrive by trolley with their recreational gear. All the locals will have parking permits which will be issued only to lake side residents.

When the general public is allowed access to the Lake you can expect all the usual trashing of the public areas. Not to mention loud,late nite parties and other offensive behavior. And if you have a lakeside property I'm hoping you have a good security system. You will probably need it at some point.
I own a property in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe. All the beaches and boat ramps in Incline Village are open only to residents and their guests with a valid resident or visitor pass. Also, if you're a guest at the Hyatt Hotel/Casino in the Village, you also have access to the Lake; though it's hardly a "budget" hotel; with rooms starting in the $200+ range.
There is virtually never any property damage or behavior issues at the lakeside beaches and boat ramps. Yet at King's Beach, 10 miles away, which has the closest public access to the Lake, the beach gets trashed routinely, one sees garbage and broken glass at boat ramps, and the police routinely have to break up drunken and/or drug fueled late night parties.

Well, Jack, somebody has to create top-dollar public jobs for all those creative types with graduate degrees in urban planning, public administration and environmental sciences and possessing an irresistible urge to inflict their skill at self-aggrandizing incompetence on public officials who don't wish to be on the wrong side of an issue when there is money to be made.

After all, there is gold in them thar hills, lakes and public waterways and getting yourself a fat slice of it has little to do with mining.

On the news front, I'm surprised you waste your time with Portland's collection of hacks, propagandists and future public relations officers.

Journalism in this burg is by and large a hot, smelly mess. I'm sure there are a few good reporters around. Maxine Bernstein comes to mind but I would be hard pressed were I required to list anyone else. Television news is a bunch of interchangeable parts who specialize in being blonde and perky.

An exception to that used to be Channel 8's Brenda Braxton, who seemed to be astonished by nearly everything she read on-air. I always wondered if she learned it all at anchor school or if KGW had a consultant come in and tell her that Q ratings required her to appear more incredulous.

TV news has always been about entertainment and showbiz. I seldom watch but had it on early Monday morning when I noticed something that made be wonder if they're not faking it at times.

On the Good Day Oregon program, KPTV was running a story about the Stevens Pass avalanche when it threw to a reporter in "our mobile newsroom".

Said reporter was clearly outside with parka and hood and it was definitely raining and you could see passing cars in the background.

She read her script about the avalanche and the deaths and isn't it awful and so forth and so on and then did the "Reporting from the Fox12 mobile newsroom..blah blah" tagline and sent it back to the studio.

At no time, however, did she say she was at Stevens Pass nor she say exactly where she was reporting from. I saw a lot of rain but no snow nor sign thereof and the background looked rather urban.

Was this reporter actually AT Stevens Pass, or did they just have her stand outside a van in the Channel 12 parking lot and pretend to be doing a live remote? I suspect the latter—if not in fact, then the equivalent.

As an aside, the two studio anchors seemed unable to turn off their happy faces, smiling away even while reporting the deaths of three skiers in an avalanche.

Truly a surreal moment. But one I suspect is not all that uncommon any more.

Interestingly, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case today that could conceivably have a bearing on the Oswego Lake matter:

From the opinion: "Navigability must be assessed as of the time of statehood, and it concerns a river’s usefulness for trade and travel..and if they were susceptible of being used as highways of commerce at the time of statehood."

Sucker Creek was pretty much a good sized/swamp ditch in 1857, and I doubt there will be much evidence that it was capable of being useful for trade and travel until after the dam that created the lake was built in the 1860's.

Maybe the Lakers should suggest homeowners on S.E. Foster Road model "JOHNSON LAKE" after their example.

"Johnson Lakefront homes for sale. ALL under $ 150,000. Requires membership in Johnson Creek...I mean Johnson LAKE Corporation. Some HOA assessments will be required for dam construction, improvements and annual maintenance"

I do not really care about who gets to use Oswego Lake but I have to say that the news story on KGW last night was pretty funny.

I think there is a "slippery slope" to this LO lake issue. There are many lakes, ponds in Oregon that where formed by building dams (properly approved or before rules) on private property. They are for livestock, water resource management, flood control, etc. From all the discussion here and elsewhere some would consider them navigable. If courts ever review the LO issue there would be concern for all these cases.

LO's lake is on private property. Would the courts have to determine that any lake is navigable if it exceeds 50 or 100 acres in size? That it's depth has to exceed 5 ft so that a sailboat could sail on it? That there are native fish in it? Maybe the issue should stay on property rights.


I don't think there's a slippery slope for the examples given - if it requires that you cross private lands to access the lake or pond, it's no go - the landowner can still deny access. The problem is when a public roadway or easement allows access, or if a watercourse allows you to get into the lake or pond without touching the banks - then there's probably an issue.

Looks to me that the Supremes have ruled on the issue in a way which makes sense.

John, where is the watercourse into the lake? Are you considering the privately owned gated control that allows some Tualatin water into the ditch to LO a public watercourse? And where is the public roadway or easement that allows public access? All "public access" that I'm aware of is by Agreement(s) by private ownership.

Or just in need of validation from the readers who buy into you.

I don't think Jack needs validation from any readers.

I speak for myself, I have my own opinions formed after years of interacting with the policies in our area. My views are independent of Jack's views, but in many instances happen to coincide. I think many others who post on here have been watchdogs and see the downward spiral the agenda has taken our community.

Those who are so critical of the blog, I suspect are not wanting this focus or differing opinions on the "insider" plans.

As far as Lake Oswego, people here do comment as money has been "lifted" from our area for that light rail. That plan would impact our area as well. Others here can provide details.


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