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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 3, 2012 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Journalism? No, it's The Oregonian.. The next post in this blog is Not as we do. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, December 3, 2012

Portland borrowing even more for empty streetcar line

It's beyond bad policy. It's positively obscene. But the Portland City Council's about to go to the banks for yet another $5.4 million to blow on the eastside streetcar, which from all appearances is an unmitigated flop:

Authorizing the issuance of up to $5.4 million in revenue bonds to finish funding the Close the Loop project that will connect the westside and eastside Portland Streetcar lines over the new transit bridge being built across the Willamette River. Improvements to be financed include: automatic train stop vehicle safety upgrades, the Stephens Turnback connecting the southernmost streetcar track on Southeast Martin Luther King Je. Boulevard. to the track on Southeast Grand Avenue at Stephens, and connections to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail bridge. The bonds are to be back by the full faith and credit of the city and are expected to be refinanced with longterm bonds within three years.

"Revenue" bonds? What "revenue"? Nobody's riding the stupid thing.

It's time for a moratorium on all things streetcar in Portland. But given that the incoming mayor has been pimping streetcars for a living around the world, that isn't going to happen. And so onward toward bankruptcy we march. It's too bad that the voters don't get as worked up about gross financial incompetence as they do about fluoridated water.

Comments (12)

"The bonds are to be back by the full faith and credit of the city..." Even excusing the typo, that's a pretty scary assessment. Of course, I'm not surprised that these dingbats are going for the credit so long as they can find someone insane enough to offer it. After all, it's not like they personally are going to be held responsible for the mess after they move on.

What's even more obscene is the likelihood that the city council will, as usual, vote unanimously for every crazy thing Adams tries to cram into his last days in an effort to seal the city's fate.

"Back by the full faith and credit of the city" seems to be a phrase used to describe the position the bondholders will have in the line of Portland's creditors. Somewhere down the block and around the corner.

"Back by the full faith and credit"

That's the excuse we've been using to sell trillions of bonds and T-bills at the Fed level also.

"It's time for a moratorium on all things streetcar in Portland."

Last election, Portland voted YES on every tax increase just about. The types running city govt see this as a mandate for every stupid spending proposal.

Besides it always more fun spending other people's money now when you can make future generations of other people pay for it later.

When will we see the data on how many paying customers the Eastside Street Car has moved around town?

How are they revenue bonds if they are backed by the full faith and credit of the city? Sounds more like general obligation bonds to me. Bad reporting if that is the case. If they truly were revenue bonds, they wouldn't have much success in relying on revenue from the streetcar.

Revenue? Seriously?
There couldn't possibly be enough riders to generate the revenue to repay the bonds! The cars will be rusted hulks, and the tracks will be pried up out of the concrete to be sold for scrap before that happens.
Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to bankruptcy we go!

Uh oh. Heads up, guys. I can see Sam insisting that Portland needs a bike-only crapartment building, just because Seattle is making noises about one:

It's time for a moratorium on all things streetcar in Portland. But given that the incoming mayor has been pimping streetcars for a living around the world, that isn't going to happen. And so onward toward bankruptcy we march

Of course Charlie Hales will probably be living in Australia with Fred Hansen by the time the City declares Chapter 9 along with TriMet, who will probably sell off the buses and bus garages.

Maybe that is why there is a push to move TriMet's management into leased space in downtown Portland. Because when TriMet hits Chapter 9, they can sell off Center Garage as an asset to repay creditors, and I know there are people who would love to buy up that property if it were for sale. (Union Pacific has had their eyes on that property for a long time to expand their intermodal facility. Which is why the old roundhouse got torn down so they could pave it over. And PGE is cramped in their location but it's very central to their needs, so I'm sure they would love to buy up TriMet's space right next door and expand.)

2012 Dec 03 Monday 12:25 U (12:30 PM PT)

In the last 72 hours I have surveyed, read and cross related a number
of media items – movies, articles and government stuff.

Cannot decide which the following is more fictional or fantasy:
1. “How to Train Your Dragon”, Turner Broadcasting.
2. “Evacuate Earth”, National Geographical Channel
Following from Lake Oswego City Council (2011-2012)
2012 Dec 04 Tuesday 6:00 PM meeting agenda items including:
3. 7.1 – Resolution 12-60, Comprehensive Plan Update
– Public Hearing on Economic Vitality Goals and Policies
4. 7.2 – Resolution 12-65, Adoption of 2013 Master Fees and Charges
Where is budget committee review
suggested at 2012 May budget hearings?
5. 7.3 – Ordinance 2601, Foothills Urban Renewal Plan Adoption
Watch testimony on 2012 Dec 04 Tuesday.
Will Riverdale School District accept cut-through traffic off
OR Hwy 43 in front of Riverdale Elementary School without
Williams Dame & White along with City of Lake Oswego
paying for mitigation?
Will 2011-2012 LO City Council (dotted quad) ream
West Linn commuters that will confront policy approved
congestion on OR Hwy 43 / State St?
See policy and letters/emails (ODOT, Metro) on
MMA(s) – Multimodal Mixed Use Area(s).

Texas Triffed Ranch (Garland TX) along with BO Jack commentators
may also desire to comment on a couple of pieces in the San Antonio
Express regarding the evolution of their streetcar plans, from
2012 Dec 01 Saturday.

Thank heavens Lake Oswego and Clackamas County in the 2012 Nov
election(s) has about come to their senses financially with respect to
streetcar and urban renewal. Cross relate “subsidy” with “ketosis”
in Oregonian Article “The High Cost of Dying” Part 2 of 2 (2012 Nov 30 Fr).
Source article San Jose Mercury News

I shudder to contemplate if terms in US DOT / TriMet
Full Funding Grant Agreement(s) – FFGA(s) and unspecified
Memorandum(s) of Understanding – MOU(s) documents between
regional, county, and municipal entities had been implemented and
overseen by rail / urban renewal / sustainability devotee(s).

Charles Ormsby (Skip)
Sentinel Skip
(Birdshill / Riverdale, OR 43, and LO Urban Growth Mgmt Area)

There is no serious attempt being made to get the streetcar system to pay for itself. Slack to nonexistent enforcement re. fares, a ridiculous price of $1.00 per ticket (reduced from $2.00 when prices are going up everywhere), non-paying riders. They might as well make it free and just admit that the citizens of Portland are underwriting the demmed thing (with, of course, the help of those magic federal dollars).

Portland Streetcar LLC should be ashamed of itself. Its board members are shamelessly driven by how close they can run these things to their businesses and how nice a board position looks on their resume.

Australia is nice...spent 10 months there 20+ years ago. Some of the roads in the bush need some tending to though. But no more so than in SE Portland.
I wonder if I can ask for political asylum from Portlandia?

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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