Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 8, 2012 7:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was We'll eat you up -- we love you so. The next post in this blog is Civic duty. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Does Metro now have three "reporters" on staff?

The amount of money that Oregon governments blow on public relations flacks is astounding. The Portland area's zany Metro government is a prime offender on this score. Not only do they have one of the highest paid p.r. dudes in the state on staff -- Erik Sten's old buddy, Jim Middaugh -- but they also have an in-house "reporter," Nick Christensen, who publishes articles on the Metro website. Christensen's writings are supposedly his unbiased views -- we're supposed to believe that if he disagreed in a big way with management, he could call them out on it all he wanted and they'd still pay him. Uh huh.

Well, now there are at least two more Metro staffers writing "articles" that purported to be of the same "independent" sort. Here's one by somebody named Michael Burnham, and here's another, by one Peggy Morell.

How many "reporters" do we taxpayers really need at Metro?

The piece signed by Morell is actually quite funny, because although she's supposedly writing as an unbiased journalist, she delivers a tired Metro party line, about the wonders of handouts to real estate developers, with enormous gusto. You couldn't get a puffier puff piece if you deliberately paid somebody to write one:

Communities in the Portland metropolitan region are seeing streetscapes and skylines change with multifamily, mixed-use developments located near transit that not only provide needed rental housing, but create jobs and generate economic activity.

Two transit-oriented projects at different stages of development tell a story repeated throughout the region and the nation: the smart money – in both public and private dollars – is on development projects that push economic recovery.

Gimme a break. And what's worse is that Middaugh kicks the whole thing off with this silliness:

Stories with a byline do not necessarily represent the opinions of Metro or the Metro Council. Metro news is committed to transparency, fairness and accuracy.

Really? Morell's post is so pleasing to the people who pay her salary that Metro councilor Rex "Psychedelia" Burkholder couldn't contain himself -- he had to run right out and Tweet it:

The whole scene is utterly absurd.

Given the attention that's been paid to the excesses of government public relations spending in our area lately, it's important to note the number of candidates in the current elections who are vowing to do something to curb them. That number is zero.

Comments (22)

Stories with a byline do not necessarily represent the opinions of Metro or the Metro Council.

That's a major CYA. I'd like to see how well that theory holds up in court or LUBA.

"..the smart money – in both public and private dollars – is on development projects that push economic recovery."

BS writing checklist:

> Always mention the public/private mantra without any notion of what the Hell that really means (pubic pays, privates profit).

> Use catchy but meaningless terms like, "smart money".

> Always mention "economic recovery" even if you have no idea if that is really happening - and in this example, definitely NOT.

Had I known Twitter was coming, I could have predicted years ago that Crusader Rex would embrace it.

What about "Streetscapes"? Ouch.

You know the Portland School Foundation has an event called Hacks versus Flacks and it's starting to sound like they're merging. Maybe someday it'll just be one person at the podium yelling.

Think of all the things that have merged in Portland. Private businesses with government. Cars using the new Burnside/Couch Couplet with buildings.

Meanwhile, I had a line on USA Today's website this weekend. I write for around 100 radio stations 5 days a week. But can I get a writing gig in Portland, Oregon? And by gig, I don't mean an occasional freelance or pro bono effort.

Of course not. Why? Because Portland, Oregon is crawling with sell-outs who use terms like streetscapes. The system is set up to funnel money to hacks and you know what?

I'm fine with it. I had a moment of clarity this morning, and I can see the next big project. I'd rather be a struggling artist than a corporate/public lackey any day.

I'm not saying I haven't tried to sell out, but fortunately for me, they weren't buying.

Some people are born hacks, others achieve hackness, while others have hackness thrust upon them.

It's not just Metro. The Multnomah County Library just released their proposed budget for the coming year. Libraries will be closed one day a week, programs will be cut, fewer books will be bought, but the Marketing and Communication budget will increase from the previous year.

"[Burkholder] had to run right out and Tweet it" ... more likely, his personal Metro- paid Tweeter/blogger/hack posted this for him. Great work if you can get one of these essential government service jobs.

The people who pay attention don't have enough votes to change things. I wish they did.

Meanwhile, those rubes down in Tennessee just wasted a bunch of land on a new state of the art Volkswagen plant. Too bad. Don't they know that "multifamily, transit-oriented developments create jobs, boost economy?" They could have had a mixed use retail / multifamily unit with a New Seasons and some subsidized artist lofts instead of a manufacturing plant. Dopes.

It is a microcosm of the weird concept of economic development in City Hall and Metro. To them, our supposed "livability" and planning religion somehow ARE the economy.

We don't need actual industries or jobs because we sell bikes and coffee and housing units to each other. What will the people in those units do for a living? Why sell bikes and planning to the next wave of immigrants. What will those immigrants do? Why sell bikes and planning....

A lady in Portland's Department of Transportation sent a defense of their propaganda in response to a query. She claims that
Portland residents have made it a priority to create livable and safe streets. There are important and critical safety issues that having a multimodal transportation system address. Part of that means getting information, tools, ideas and strategies into the hands of residents and employees that want to lead a more active and healthy life - through bicycling, walk, taking transit and driving less.
Portland Smart Trips accounts for an annual decrease in driving trips by 9%....

Really? Their glossy pamphlets result in a 9% decrease every year?

According to The Zero, after six decades of seemingly inexorable increases, traffic peaked nationally in 2004. The total vehicle miles has been flat or down each year since. In 2011, the average American drove 6 percent fewer miles than in 2004.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that Portland bureaucrats are simply trying to take credit for trends that have been apparent nationwide for years. How else would they shore up their "green, progressive" credentials and justify their cushy "jobs"?

Metro government is a Goldschmidt like device concocted to force population back towards the city of Portland from the Portland suburbs. Recall the 60s and 70s when baby boomer parents relocated their families in droves to the Portland suburbs. The city of Portland was in serious decline at this point. So, Metro is created in and around this aftermath, and its unspoken purpose is too artificially push business and people back towards the city of Portland. (All main roads, bus routes, and tracks must go through the city Portland, rather than around it as in more productive regions of the U.S.)

Metro accomplishes this goal, proping up the city of Portland, not by productive effort but rather restricting family oriented development in the suburbs. To offset this stigma (based in reality, no less) of being dead weight overall for the local and state economies, it must propagandize; and hence, the need for an elevated number of public relations folks.

Snards:...What will the people in those units do for a living?...

It is a bike and planner's world in pdx now.
What happens when the redo is done and everyone has a bike?
...and new ones will be reluctant to come in?

...or is the plan to have the new ones coming in work for "future manufacturing" brought in by China, cheap labor assisted by all the "subsidized workforce" living units?...going to work on subsidized light rail and bikes?
Amerika gone global with Portland in the lead?

This is what they mean by "in-bedded" journalism.

So, Metro is created in and around this aftermath, and its unspoken purpose is too artificially push business and people back towards the city of Portland. (All main roads, bus routes, and tracks must go through the city Portland, rather than around it as in more productive regions of the U.S.)

And TriMet's most successful route (in terms of cost per boarding ride and service frequency) is the 72 Killingsworth/82nd Avenue route - a "cross-town route" that doesn't go downtown.

Go figure...

"The whole scene is utterly absurd."

PR Employee #4 will be Winston Smith (cf. 1984)

That's all govt is these days is work on what interests them and then convince us its for our own good. Which should give you a pretty good indicator of what they think out native intelligence level is.

Meanwhile the stuff we want (decent police, no potholes and good schools) just rots.

Say hello to the "bread and circuses" phase of American democracy.

Off topic (slightly), walking back from lunch, I saw a woman putting orange shower caps (for lack of a better description) and over bike seats at the rack at 10th and Stark. She was also affixing little orange tags on string to the handlebars.

Printed on the orange shower caps was "THANK YOU FOR RIDING" and I'm 99% sure that they had a METRO logo on it.

I think she mistook my observation as interest. Mostly I was thinking WT* are my tax dollars doing paying for this? And I'm a bike commuter.

If I saw someone tampering with my bike I would've said something. I wonder how many of those tags and caps get tossed in the gutter?

Today's English lesson:
People who write "news" for public consumption on behalf of an agency, a bureau, or even a private corporation are sometimes called "reporters", and sometimes they're called "public relations people", and sometimes "ad men", and sometimes "ministers of propaganda".
It just depends on what works.

Goebbels would be proud of Metro (and TriMet) for their effective use of PR flacks. He would probably pee his pants if he saw some of the words that these modern versions of himself have created.

Don't forget Dylan Rivera, formerly with The Oregonian, and now with Metro as a Snr. Public Affairs Specialist.

If Metro has three (or four) reporters on staff...that would still be way more reporters than the Oregonian has at any given time.

(Well,unless you count cut and paste interns)

The amount of money that Oregon governments blow on public relations flacks is astounding.

The more people resist the more public relations needed!
We pay how much to be "convinced?"


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009
Lello, Douro Tinto 2009
Quinson Fils, Cotes de Provence Rose 2011
Anindor, Pinot Gris 2010
Buenas Ondas, Syrah Rose 2010
Les Fiefs d'Anglars, Malbec 2009
14 Hands, Pinot Gris 2011
Conundrum 2012
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2007
Penelope Sanchez, Garnacha Syrah 2010
Canoe Ridge, Merlot 2007
Atalaya do Mar, Godello 2010
Vega Montan, Mencia
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2009

The Occasional Book

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: 115
At this date last year: 21
Total run 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

Clicky Web Analytics