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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 13, 2012 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Is Stenchy moving to Lake Oswego?. The next post in this blog is Cr-apartment parking showdown this afternoon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

City of Portland subsidizing solar power -- in Roseburg

Rogue misspending of revenues runs rampant in Portland city government. Sometimes it's millions, like Fireman Randy's water bureau spending benders and Mayor Creepy's bike fantasies paid for out of sewer revenues. Other times, it's just thousands. But the variety of ways City Hall can misdirect public moneys is breathtaking.

Here's a new one, sent in by an alert reader:

I was at a meeting earlier today where a person from the Southern Oregon Clean Energy Alliance (SOCEA) was reporting on an effort to start a "Solarize Southern Oregon" program. These programs are great. They enable bulk purchasing of solar PV panels so that costs are reduced to the person installing the panels. The savings have been 10 or 15% over what an individual homeowner can otherwise obtain on their own. It doesn't cost the taxpayer for the program (the tax credits for installing systems are another story), and the program supports installers who really can use the business. In fact, I took advantage of a Solarize Portland program and feel pretty good about it. Solarize programs have been around in Portland for a few years and have spawned spin-offs including Solarize Salem and now this Solarize Southern Oregon effort. More on the Solarize Southern Oregon program is here.

So far, so good.

If you tool around on their website, you'll note that the organization has an interesting list of supporters and partners... including the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Of Portland.

Huh?

And the site also shows supporters of Solar Now! They include, yup, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

What started me digging was that as I was listening to the presentation, the person from SOCEA noted that they had received a grant from the City of Portland, BPS, in order to help get the whole thing off the ground. She didn't say how much, and the only evidence of the amount or grant I found is in the minutes of a meeting down south, here.

While $8,000 is a small amount, to be sure, it probably could have fixed a few Portland potholes. But now it is going to help people in Roseburg put solar on their rooftops. WTF. I really can't fathom what was running through the CoP employee's head who approved that grant. If anything.

Portland's "sustainability" office, which is also constantly writing and running free advertising for its favored friends on the city's website, is out of control. They're giving "green" a bad name. The backlash that is coming if the new mayor doesn't shape things up over there won't be good for the earth. Eventually, another lawsuit, like the one calling out the water bureau abuses, may be necessary. But it shouldn't be.

Comments (7)

the person from SOCEA noted that they had received a grant from the City of Portland, BPS, in order to help get the whole thing off the ground.

This is not intended to defend the city, but just wanted to point out that it is not uncommon (in fact it is quite common) for a large municipal government to be the recipient of a large federal grant (say, from Dept. of Energy, in this case), which it then distributes to other organizations, non-profits, or even other municipalities. So I would not be shocked if the grant from BPS was in fact revealed to itself be a grant from some larger organization, probably the feds.

Anything to avoid dealing with potholes or the mentally ill walking the streets - Even if that means talking about things they don't have a clue about.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the government in Salem is being superceded by Portland bureaucracy (or perhaps the state is going Vichy on us and abdicating, I don't know which).

Either way, it's another hint that something quite newsworthy may have occurred here in 2008 that the world press hasn't caught on to yet.

Dave J - I believe your answer is correct. Portland received about 20 million in ARRA federal funds, and BPS has used some of those funds to further solar activities in other parts of the state.

Oh, okay. As long as it's a different color of money...

Umpire, but does Portland's ARRA federal funds specifically allow BPS to fund other "solar activities in other parts of the state"? That's the big question. I think it is unlikely. But knowing Portland's modus operandi they'll think its okay.

Big slush funds funding smaller slush funds and every level takes their cut.


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Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
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Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
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If You See Kay, Red 2011
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Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
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Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
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Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
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Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
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Miles run year to date: 319
At this date last year: 172
Total run in 2013: 257
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