This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 5, 2006 11:03 PM. The previous post in this blog was Just another coincidence. The next post in this blog is Moving experience. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 5, 2006

Go by ark!

On some errands in northeast and southwest Portland tonight, I drove through more than a few small lakes where intersections were supposed to be. Heavy rains have combined with fallen leaves to clog up the city's storm drains. It's a mess.

Also impressive was the number of city crews I saw out there working overtime to get the standing water moving again.

That number was zero.

But hey, the aerial tram looked fine [rim shot].

Comments (14)

I couldn't believe it, some of those mini-lakes were over two feet deep. I did see several fire units out unclogging storm drains. I called the non-emergency number to report a couple stores flooding on Broadway and NE 16th, since the crews I saw were working in areas that weren't in danger of any real damage.

Would someone explain to me why we don't have proper leaf removal in this town? Some neighborhoods look like they've been hit with some kind of bizarre orange, yellow, and brown blizzard. Big drifts of leaves piling up against cars and trees...

Yeah, and those piles of leaves are all in the bike lanes, too, meaning I occasionally have to ride in the street, annoying everyone (including myself).

Ick, ick, ick.

Glad you mentioned the leaves, though. Somehow that didn't click and I couldn't figure out why the puddles were even worse than I remember from previous years. The onramp to I5 South from Broadway was just a lake all the way across. I was scared the car I was driving wasn't going to make it through.

What's the mystery? The transportation dollars around here are all going to streetcars and trams and other Opie-Sam-Saltzman toys, and there's no money to pick up leaves and keep sewers clear.

Please pay attention!

Oh, and I forgot the strangest thing I saw! Right in the center of the intersection of Mississippi and Russell, there was a manhole cover shooting water OUT. There seemed to be about nine holes in a grid formation, each of which had a fountain about 9 inches tall shooting upward. It looked like a miniature version of the Salmon Street Fountain.

Totally bizarre.

Two or there years ago there was a front page story in the Oregonian that reported there was indeed leaf collection in selected areas of the City, and it did not corrolate to where the most leaves fell. It would be a really intersting article for you to find in link to.

The City posts a schedule of when --and what general areas-- get leaf removal. Ladd's Addition, which we're just east of, is scheduled toward the end of November.

We've got three giant, heritage oaks across from us, and after our Hawthorne leaves have fallen --I swept up the last of those last week-- now I've got our neighbors leaves to deal with. I think what happened was there's been a lot of leaves failling at once because of the rain and wind, but not many folks are sweeping this weekend because it's been raining so hard.

I sweep my own leaves up as sort of zen exercise. The folks with the oaks have a crew of people come out and do their yard work (and more than once I've stopped the work crew from simply blowing the leaves over to MY side of the street).

The City's actually talking about charging for the leaf pick-up service...which seems sorta fair since some folks get it and some don't. Personally I wonder why we can't take a little more personal responsibility for at least raking around our own homes and businesses. What's next, the government should mow our lawns too?

Once apon a time, before there were TRAMS the VISION of City or Town Government was pretty simple. You had problems that it was more cost effective to solve collectively with everyone chipping in to pay thier fair share of the cost of services in the form of taxes.

Those backed up storm inlets are a form of 'offline storage,' an unplanned but effective way to slow the flow of urban runoff into the combined sewer system and reduce CSOs. BES has been working for a few years on a project to do the same thing without the leaves by reducing the size of the inlet orifice, effectively flooding intersections for a short time while the runoff slowly drips into the sewer system.

The manhole fountain mentioned above is what happens when a sewer line surcharges or is filled beyond its capacity. The stuff shooting out of the holes is about 80% runoff and 20% sewage. Surcharging can pop the manholes off, too.

I saw a city guy mucking through leaves yesterday --- 4:30 p.m. or so, NE 42nd near Fremont, all by his lonesome, in the schmancy part of Beaumont Wilshire. It was raining like a cow on a flat rock at the time....felt bad for the guy.

But okay, just to recap: a despotic junta controls the US government (at least those members who HAVEN'T been jailed or indicted yet); that government has dragged the planet into the middle of World War III on such false pretenses it makes Tricky Dick look like a Boy Scout; self-proclaimed anti-tax raiders have gutted the schools, hospitals and health care ----- and you want somebody to clean off your freekin sidewalk for you?

It's true that I'm Monday-morning cranky, but I would bet my whole collection of three dollar bills that if the city DID religiously pick up all the sidewalk leaves SOMEONE SOMEWHERE would fuss that they SHOULD be putting their efforts toward cracking down on meth addicts or identity theft or........

(BTW---seldom do city folks check out the ballot measures in the suburbs ----- but a whole bunch of Oregon counties are not only are asking for levies for schools and etc., but for law enforcement too. Haven't seen/heard any tawk on that in The City......).

Best tram joke of the week, courtesy of the Amtrak bus driver, Friday noon Portland-Eugene run leaving on I-5S: "If you're wondering what those wires are, folks, apparently those new buildings they put up at the hospital on the hill are already slipping off backwards, and they had to put up guy ropes to hold 'em on".

John, even before the quaint notion of chipping in to pay for government services, was the even-more archaic concept of civic duty. And common courtesy with common sense, as Frank notes. Citizens raked up their own leaves, and didn't use noisy, polluting machines to merely blow them onto their neighbors' side. In fact, people would sweep the leaves of elderly, infirm, or busy neighbors at the same time as their own. Civic duty and humankindness.

I rake up and cart off my neighbor's leaves pro-bono. Leaf mold/compost is bar-none the best soil amendment around!

It's raining so hard, yesterday I saw a squirrel spraying Granger's on his nuts.

John, even before the quaint notion of chipping in to pay for government services, was the even-more archaic concept of civic duty. And common courtesy with common sense, as Frank notes. Citizens raked up their own leaves, and didn't use noisy, polluting machines to merely blow them onto their neighbors' side.

Well said, Amanda. Every comment you make reminds me that I wish you had won last year.

As for the leaves, yes--I would say that a good 75%-80% of the corner "lakes" in my neighborhood could be solved by a homeowner taking a rake/shovel and spending 3 minutes unclogging the drain. If more people actually raked their yards, most of those clogs wouldn't happen to begin with.

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