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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Running the last real industry out of Portland

It appears the naive children at Portland City Hall want to yuppify the central east side, just as they did the SoWhat District and the Pearl. People who make and build things are no longer wanted -- it's all about marketing and political consulting companies now. God forbid there should be any blue-collar people left in our town full of hipsters.

Comments (49)

Depending on how you pronounce it, "Produce Row" is a pretty good label for hizzoner's intentions.

There is a risk that blue-collar people might vote the wrong way.

Hipsters will always vote for the Goldschmidt Party, no matter what.

If Sam were a conservative, his policies would be called out by his constituents as classist, maybe even racist depending on how skewed the demographic effects are on the neighborhoods/districts he's "repurposing". Instead, he'll probably get some low six figure policy analyst/lobbyist gig from one of the developers. The second I can take even a minor bath on my house, I'm out of here...

Besides, driving out "people who make and build things" makes Portland look good.

Portland has driven out most of its heavy industry, and now can boast that Portland's CO2 output is smaller than in 1990, and is 35% less per capita than the average American urban area. Politicians can yammer on about "smart growth" and bike paths, but continued reductions in Portland's CO2 output are dependent on the continued deindustrialization of Portland.

It's part of the Portland Climate Action Plan!

First off, how would Sam even know what a cool neighborhood is? His idea of winter headgear is something he stole off a MIG pilot.

Besides this re-branding sounds like something an apt owner does after someone gets killed in his building.

Isn't it ironic that these people drive out the industry, and then complain that all our jobs are going overseas?

Wonder how many in that area are having to be careful in speaking out for concern of retaliation?

Produce Row, or
Production Row for the agenda?

I am sure the plans were rolled out on a huge developer's table long ago.

I think we well knew what would be coming when that streetcar line was laid down.
Next up, a LID, or an attempt at a "halo LID",
that should get rid of more businesses.

Sure glad I don't live in the Buckman neighborhood. I'll be even gladder when I no longer live in a big upscale housing development I have to help pay for and won't be able to afford to live in, ie, Portland.

BTW - Talk about the sullied damsel defending her honor:

Charlie Hales - Job creator (and part-time Vancouver resident.) He's gott put down the pipe and get real.

Ah, but the main article here is from our old friend Andy Giegerich. Poor Andy: he still hasn't learned about the classic trap of schlubby journalist and spiffy interview subject. Namely, no matter how much ink he gives Sam, Sam still won't sleep with him.

Personally, having worked some 40+ years ago in Produce Row, it always struck me as a poor location. Many of the places had rail access, but much of what I loaded and unloaded every night was coming in and going out in trucks. Those drivers had some serious skills to be able to maneuver around in those cramped spaces.

The only cool spot, really, was when the Fun Hogs got the Produce Row Cafe going - great beers, great food, darts...When Euphoria started up across the street from PRC, that, too, was pretty cool. The food there sucked, so you ate at PRC. But Euphoria had dual live music venues, and they booked some pretty amazing acts. They were mostly drinks and music, and it was kind of sad when they flamed out.

Of course, back then there were other venues, in close-in SW Portland: Sack's Front Avenue, a beer joint with the Robert Cray Band on Mondays and the Paul Delay Band on Wednesdays, and other acts in between. Louis LaBamba, where I think Pink Martini got started. Further up, near Broadway, The Last Hurrah - across from Meier & Frank. I remember one night there: Frank Zappa finished his Paramount gig, showed up down there, and jammed for a bit with the locals.

Good times.

But Produce Row, as a produce distribution site - that was something I didn't get (other than the historical perspective) even when I worked down there. It's really better suited these days for software and marketing companies. The kids really eat up old and funky.

Before micro-breweries, there was 'Blitz' and 'Bohemian' or there was imports like Heinie and Pilzn. The latter came from bars like Produce Row, where you could buy a Round-the-World passport ticket good for a beer a country across most of Europe.

Now it's gonna be Marketing companies and Political consultants? What, to drink at Lucky's? Whatever.

They want to rename it Produce Row for marketing reasons. Reminds me of renaming Portland Blvd to Rosa Parks Blvd just as the last African-Americans get priced out of the neighborhood, or all the focus "Chinatown" started to get after everything genuinely Asian had long ago fled.

It looks good on brochures and gets investors all excited.
Disneyland is carved up in a similar fashion.

Oh yes! The plans were rolled out years ago with the street car, the couplet and the (failed but not out) plans for the condo tower and Home Depot store. Depot may not want those 5 free no tax blocks but several others might. The LID is already in place and we all are just waiting for the announcement of what we will have to pay. If nothing else the LID charges when levied, will drive out the remaining small manufacturing businesses.
Meanwhile Randy Miller who thought he would make big bucks off his real estate when the Home Depot project was announced has had to wait 6 + years for development and he is not happy about it!
Jobs? In Portland? Nah! We don't need no stinking' jobs here!

Branding is just putting a Bird On It.

The Produce Row branding was worked out in consultation with businesses in that area, and is specific to that part of the Central East Side. The mayor somehow took that to mean the entire Central East Side was being rebranded, and said so, because, well, he's Sam Adams, and screwed the pooch. Don't let that stop your righteous anger on behalf of blue collar types.

By Charlie Hales
Like many readers, I was disappointed, if not surprised, by Dave Lister's latest broadside attacking smart growth, transit, East Coast transplants, urban renewal, bicycles, myself and most other things that are great about Portland.

But what really made me splutter in my morning cereal was his ridiculous assertion about the South Waterfront having "no jobs at all" apart from a few retail and restaurants.

Interesting that he put along with the rest -
myself and most other things that are great about Portland.

These insiders do not like it when their agenda gets talked about with opposition, do they?

...splutter in my morning cereal...

More like upchuck of cereal around our city if Hales gets back in.

Do the small businesses in the area support the grand plans?

It will be interesting to see whether those that do support the plan continue to do so when they get their LID bill.

What Sammy is trying to pull in renaming the Eastside Industrial District, he also did to North Macadam without any consultation with neighborhoods, public disclosure, etc. The Council should be upset.

North Macadam's name had been on planning maps for many decades. It had historical meaning since 1880's when the road to LO became this regions first macadamized road. The name was unique, identifying.

But Sammy and Katz, behind closed doors, changed the name to South Waterfront, and now is famously called SoWhat. "South Waterfront" has no charm, no sense of place, and sounds like many other places; sort of like it has physically become. Actually "SoWhat" sounds better and plays off NY's SoHo.

Thanks Sammy for being so devious, but maybe this time you won't prevail.

I dunno, guys, early last year Portland was ranked first in the nation in percentage and per capita growth in Gross Domestic Product.


You all seem to find a lot to complain about. A lot of cities would like to have Portland's problems such as your 10% populaton growth in the city, county and region in the last Census. I mean, someone must like living there, right?

I travel a lot, and you have a great city in the making right under your noses. Sometimes it's easier to see from the outside, I guess.

1. Portland metro is not the City of Portland.

2. The data cited ends in 2009.

3. 10% population growth in the City of Portland means about 5,500 people a year.

4. "I travel a lot." And that affects the validity of your viewpoint exactly how?

Maybe I'm missing something...

I'm assuming we all realize that at one time the district was aptly called "Produce Row." The fresh produce vendors, Italians primarily - like my grandfather - bought their produce there from off the trains. My grandmother and uncle bought their grapes to fashion their "Dago Red." (Not an insult to true Italians, by the way.) Produce Row was the home to Corno's, Sheridan, and many other fresh food markets - with bulk foods available in bins long before the Earth Muffins invented them. Free wieners to the kiddies in the butcher dept., too. So based on the historical element, Produce Row is appropriate.

But... I don't understand the need to formally name a district, particularly if it impacts businesses or trade. Seems it's just another example of the city and hizzoner taking something that already exists and making it appear to be theirs. One of many, many examples.

The Central East Side has been getting yuppified for years. At least I haven't heard anyone talking lately about moving, or eliminating, the stretch of I-5 that runs through it.

Produce Row is only one small area of the CESID.
And I will be interested to see if anyone dares to speak out about Sammie's arbitrary renaming.
Certainly in the past ANY and all opposition to city hall and the PDC plans is dealt with quite severely and with speed. Watch Out ! The gulag awaits.

Gotcha, Portland Native. (Man I miss those days...)

First they rename a street for a cultural figure having nothing to do with the neighborhood, now they rename a neighborhood with a moniker that really has nothing to do with anything anymore.

And the produce market is going to be on the other side of the river.

We now name an entire area for what the area USED to be noted for?

THEN it should be called "CITY LIQUIDATORS ROW".

That would be more appropriate, anyway.

Ooooooh.... I just had an epiphany that could save a LOT of dough in future consultant fees.


I'll start (feel free to jump in):

82nd Avenue from Burnside to Powell
(Hooker Street...Damn...been used)

S.W. 3rd & 4th from Salmon to Jefferson
(The DMZ since no treaty was ever signed)

S.E. Ochoco to Umatilla, (19th to McLaughlin) Milwaukie
Johnson Lake Beachfront TBA

Rebrand that neighborhood....

^ Jack complains that "2. The data cited ends in 2009."

Yeah, well, Ok, but is that all you got? After all, it's a ten-year time-series. I wouldn't expect these data to change much in a year or two. They would have to change a lot to alter the overall conclusion.

* Among the top ten regions in the nation for percentage growth in total GDP, Portland's first-place growth is 1.74 times the growth of the tenth-place region. And there are something like 260 or so regions measured. Things in and around Portland would have to become massively negative for that standing to change in a material way.

* Among the top ten regions for percentage growth in per capita GDP, Portland's first place finish is 2.41 times the tenth-place finisher. To me, this indicates high-value work may well be displacing lower-value work. But that's what free markets generally do, right? Would you want the opposite to be happening?

These data are kind of hard to explain-away, though I'm sure you'll try. You may want to suggest that it's only happening because Clark County is what's driving the region, stealing all of Portland City's best producers. But look at the maps. Clark County is only one of two West Coast Counties with negative growth in GDP over the same ten years. So to the extent this is a regional phenomenon, the Oregon counties -- the ones in dark blue -- are making it happen. Multnomah is one of those dark blue counties, and Portland city comprises a lot of that. If Portland City were the dullard you suggest, it would be pink or red like a lot of the cities you see in the Midwest or Southeat - pink, surrounded by some shade of blue.

To a distant observer, your blog seeks to embed the notion that everything your city does is awful. You seem to go jury-shopping wherever you can for whatever story seems to prove your meme, such as it is.

But I do enjoy reading it. The writing is terrific, and it does make one think. A little more intellectual honesty make it even better.

"Yeah, well, Ok, but is that all you got?" Actually, no, as I clearly wrote and will write one more time for you, John: Portland metro is not City of Portland.

Think about that, 'K?

I live in Portland, a city that is dying a slow death. There are jobs in Washington County, John. Here in Portland, it's dead except for the condo weasels.

I hate to burst your bubble, but Portland has lost many thousands of jobs in the last decade. The Portland area lost more than 50,000 jobs in 2009 alone. Whatever statistics you're babbling about, the economy here stinks. The only new jobs are taxpayer-subsidized construction jobs on crap that is bankrupting local government.

Portland is still a good place to live, but government has nothing to do with its goodness. Quite the opposite. Government here is inept and corrupt. I'm doing my best, with the help of many others, to try to get the world to see that, but maybe you're a hopeless case in that regard.

John, your credibility is also affected just a little by the fact that you are the "Father of the Cincinnati Streetcar"!

Sad, John. Really sad.

Our schools are failing. We can't maintain our streets. Our municipal government is drowning in debt, too much of which went for previous public subsidies to private enterprise that would never have survived a public vote. Our libraries are being held hostage so they can be cut to pay for other county services.

Please identify the businesses that asked for this
publicly-funded "rebranding" nonsense (over the objections of their neighbors, FCOL) so I'll know which ones not to ever patronize.

It is long past time for Portland businesses to start contributing back to the commons rather than stealing from it for ridiculous nonsense like "rebranding". How about coming up with private funding for some Benson bubblers in this area? How about contributing for some energy saving improvements to Buckman School or St Francis? One of every four property tax dollars paid in Portland is already diverted away from basic services. Time for some giving back.

If these businesses were well known for the good that they do for their community rather than their eagerness to take, nobody would care if they renamed themselves "Bullwinkle Estates".

If you don't count police and fire pensions as basic services, more than one of every two property tax dollars paid to the city is diverted.

^ So what, Jack? Lots of American cities are building streetcars. Many others are planning them. Portland's is expanding. You may not like it, but it's happening.

I still haven't read a factual rebuttal of what I posted earlier.

John, as I mentioned, the statistics you cite don't relate to the City of Portland. They relate to the Portland metro area.

And they're a couple of years old. And the area lost 50,000 jobs in 2009 alone.

You have talked your town into buying into some extreme stupidity. Yes, it's happening. Lots of bad things are happening. Take care.

John sounds like he might be a beard for someone.

"You may not like it, but it's happening. "

Funny, how often you hear that same phrase accompanying the announcement of a disaster, or a fatal disease.

Looking at Cincinnati in Wiki, a couple of interesting observations. One: the pix of the city is startlingly similar to Portland taken from the east side. Two: Cincinnati ha about 1/2 the population of Portland, but the metropolitan population is almost the same.

I wonder who is actually paying for their streetcar?

Streetcars made much sense in their day. Growing up in Cicero IL in the 30's and 40's, they were a necessity. Had they been allowed to continue, perhaps their place might have been assured. But in a city/metropolitan area we have and probably Cincinnati, they amount to show pieces.

IMO, anyway.

David Gilmore, John Schneider seems to have a beard. His website is "". He might be a good friend of Charlie, you think? I enjoy the dialogue he brings.

I imagine those promoting streetcars in other cities would not want to hear that Portland has any problems or that there is a rebellion.
Does that explain why some here are trying to scoop up as they can - should the house of cards fall down here - those who were part of it may not be welcome elsewhere.
One would think for their own reputation they would become more prudent and stop for a breather instead of racing to grab while they can.

I find the lack of care, for our city and the people who live here....distressing having difficulty with words for what we the people are faced with here.
It is certainly unreassuring to have elected officials making unwise decisions
against our community and public interests.

The only new jobs are taxpayer-subsidized construction jobs on crap that is bankrupting local government.

Actually, I believe that the primary employer in Portland (the city) is city, county, Metro, state, and federal government.
Thus, John the Streetcar guy gets it completely wrong when he says:

Among the top ten regions for percentage growth in per capita GDP, Portland's first place finish is 2.41 times the tenth-place finisher. To me, this indicates high-value work may well be displacing lower-value work. But that's what free markets generally do, right?

No, John - the free market to which you refer most emphatically does not apply.

It would be interesting to get a count of all those employed by city, county, metro, state and federal government.

Streetcar John needs to stay in Cinncinati and stay out of Portland. We have enough street car promoting crooks of our own we don't need more from Ohio!

Streetcar John thought Stumptown folks would never catch on and "out" his connection/purpose.

Lots of American cities are building streetcars. Many others are planning them. Portland's is expanding. You may not like it, but it's happening.

John has certainly got a point there. Even though a majority of Portlanders stopped liking expansion of light rail in 1998 by voting down the Interstate line, TriMet and Metro just made it happen. Since then the entire streetcar system and 2 MAX lines (3 if TrainMet can pull off the Orange line construction before going bankrupt) have been built without any public vote whatever. So we may not like it, but it's happening. Just like the filth involved with our new mandatory composting program, people should apparently just get over it.

Some of us won't just get over it, it is a health matter which will become more evident this summer and the spreading of who knows what on our agriculture land providing food, and on our vineyards, etc. I don't know what has been done at this plant, but food waste in with yard debris used to be prohibited.

We need to take an in-depth look at the consequences of these decisions.

Apparently, there are some who think this is a great program, and only see that they are a good citizen recycling but think no further of what can happen with this "new" compost program.

Running the last real industry out of Portland

Then will our "new industry" in the city be food waste centers all over? Is the new plan to no longer even think in terms of neighborhoods, but we will instead be living in eco-districts?


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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: 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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