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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Please forget the b.s. we sold you. Thank you.

For the first time, OHSU is openly contemplating housing -- condos, apartments or student housing -- in floors above medical education centers. Making room for biotechnology industries, for years an anchor of OHSU's planning, has faded.
Every lie they tell you in Portland these days -- it's the condos, stupid.

Comments (18)

First, I love the new phrase, "center of gravity" to replace "linchpin." Very creative. And I don't think we should be too harsh about the biotech jobs. After all, shoveling B.S. is sort of a biotech job, and this project has brought us plenty of that. By the way, the phrase "student doctor" sounds like B.S., too. Get over yourself.

rising construction costs and high density make the waterfront a challenging sell for private-sector biotech

Wow. Who'd have guessed construction costs would rise. And hasn't density always been the point?

Not a word from the Oregonian on what impact this new vision might have on the district's ability to repay all those tax-increment financing investments. I'd guess a "2 million square foot campus on 20 acres" won't be paying much, if anything, in property taxes.

You stole my thunder.

The TIF (Tax Increment Financing) revenue projections which the PDC made when recommending approval of the then "North Macadam Plan are as obsolete as the $15 million Tram.
The BS about engaging the neighbors is equally obsolete.
Of course with the SoWa central district eating up all the funding, (and more) for the future phase improvements for
SoWa, the perpetual snow job and misrepresentations by City Council will need to ramp up in order to siphon countless millions into this non-biotech research cluster.
And the plan never included the second streetcar loop or light rail.
Chris Smith must be salivating over this new vision.

Fortunatly for the council the public has "delusions of graduer" regarding council integrity.
Top to bottom this story today is chuck full of con job deceit.

"Robertson said. "We do not have a specific plan at this point. It would be presumptuous for us to have a plan at this point."
Duh, a plan, since when did OHSU ever have a plan? Yup, their plan is to out do anything else in Oregon. a bigger pyramid and no liability, that's where quasi-government begins. Next 30 years...wanna buy a new tram, running from Seaside to Mt Hood?
Is that the sound, I hear, the city council salivating over another screwing of the citizens?

wow. now it's the "Center of Gravity"?

i read this too. Katz touted this endlessly in defense of the project; it was a key part of the North Macadam/South Waterfront Plan. 10,000 Biotech Jobs. Tons of Affordable Housing units. a wide, generous greenway and moderate height, skinnier buildings.

all a complete fantasy.

a unique opportunity to do something wonderful in the city, something really astounding and of benefit to the environment and us all--utterly wasted.

as predicted, the main beneficiaries will be investors, Homer Williams and OHSU. the losers--why, us, of course.

God Bless America. And Homer Williams, apparently.

who had the power, and how did they use it?

Sorry Howard, I did not know you would use salivating too. I guess great minds thin alike lol

"all a complete fantasy"
Sure much of it was and is.

But deliberate cooking of numbers and info by various agencies had to usher it along. This is the mother of all model of local out of control planning.
The number one reason this SoWa plan was able to grow to such a scheme is previous schemes, primarily Cascade Station, were the proving gound. There is no oversight, no validation, no clear budget, no accounts to review and NO authentic representation of the public's interests.
None. Not sloppy official management. But none.
The great pretending five currently residing on the council are completely incompetent, yammering figureheads bending around cognitive twists every time a new plot surfaces.

Why let the big dogs make all the profit? Unilver (NYSE: UN) is just over $29 a share and their product line (including Vaseline) continues to trend up.

Simple solution:

Directly elect the heads and budgets of the biggest departments:



Meh, clearly this blog isn't for me. It's just whining for the sake of whining. And that's coming from someone who whines a lot.

There is discussion about formally requesting a building moratorium for SoWhat because of the lack of planning, the exorbitant changes in uses (biotech vs. condos), and the lack of funding for a large percentage of identified projects.

The reasons for the moratorium are similar to the Council's recent moratorium for Hayden Island that was recently extended. The "island affect" of SoWhat is very similar to Hayden Island with only north and south portal access points. The buildout of SoWhat could easily cripple the 1-5 system just like further development of Hayden Island.

Counting on 40% mass transit ridership as PDOT's Matt Brown projected for SoWhat is a pipe dream. It was the basis for all the downtown maximum heights/density for SoWhat. Compare it to today's ridership of 2.75% with all kinds of subsidies-it won't work-so the whole north/south transportation systems of metro Portland will fail.

A moratorium makes sense to give Sam Adams time to come up with a solution with funding. State law requires infrastructure to be inplace before development-State of Oregon Comprehensive Plan.

"Clearly this blog isn't for me." Probably not, Chris.

Restating the facts about the decades long waste of public funds, present and future, is not whining. The intended result is that positive action toward fiscal responsibility will eventually be implemented.

It is essential that the citizens be reminded of the hundreds of millions of dollars diverted to major projects in the city which benefit few, but lines the pockets of the few power brokers in Portland.

A simple reminder of the lack of wisdom in the CoP is the recent quest of Tom Potter and crew to find out what NEW projects to fund with what could or could not be a $35 million dollar budget excess. How about pay down some of the bills coming due on deferred maintenance?

Let em build with their own money and not one more cent of public money or tax freebates. They get more public money from the state 25% vs. PSU's 15%. They also no longer serve the poor and indigent. If they are now running like a corporation and getting state money then their structures should be taxed to fund public services.

I don't think this is whining. This is analysis and debate with various points of view.

The question: How to turn analysis and debate into synthesis and persuasion?

Indeed, exceptional inspiration is required to change the current direction of Portland's ship of state.

As "progressive" as Porland is, there is a status quo and inertia which lurches along. There is a common thinking in many Portland circles that passes for "common sense"; a predominate viewpoint that dominates Portland politics.

I know "vision" is a bad word these days, but the only way to change what's going on, is to replace the current "vision" with another "vision" that captures the imagination of Portlanders across a broad mid-section.

We need a new tangible picture, yet does not upset the basic Portland philosophy.

I say that because the other way is fiscal and economic disaster; I don't want that to happen.

Portland can do better.

We need political genius to pickup the palette and brushes, mix the colors, and reach out to paint the canvas with vibrant colors and stunning patterns for all to see.

We need calls to action on a sounding trumpet of clarity.

i challenge the notion that Portland's politically or socially "progressive" any longer.

i might say "tolerant", but no more so than a lot of cities.

the "creative class" is a myth. the rich-poor divide is an ever-clearer reality. the middle class is dramatically going away--even Sam Adams has commented on it.

Portland's undergoing involuntary growing pains. and already it doesn't resemble the romantic notion that people here and elsewhere desperately want it to portray.

je-please sound a note or two so that we can begin. But please don't Potterize the "tangible picture'.

I'm no artist, and the issues have been discussed here many times, but if I was to sound a note or two, they would be these.

Basic services to the average Portlander have been cut to support "special projects" of the well connected.

The reaction of the average Portlander to the common thinking contolling Portland politics is that it's(whatever the goal is)a good idea for other people and that's okay because it won't effect me personally, I'll continue living my life, others can do all the "cool" things. "I even like it that 'other' people will do all these cool things," says the average Portlander.

Ie, public transportation of the most expensive kind is good and it's okay to force(encourage)people not to use cars(still 97% of transit trips are performed in private automobiles). Meanwhile 97% of Portlanders are paying the price of traffic congestion, and their tax dollars are being directed to a well connected few while they wait in traffic, or wait for the police, or wait for a good school, or wait for the pothole to be fixed. There are many necessary and proper public services being shorted because the elite want to play "master of developement" politics.

"High density is good, but I'll still live with a back yard," says the average Portlander, "others can live with no personal, private space." Meanwhile, more and more lots in established neighborhoods are being broken down into ever smaller lots and prices are going up dramatically. So, less people can have "personal space" and it is more costly.

There, I've upset a large number of Portlanders, well, because I'm no artist.

But that's my rough sketch.

What I want to see is a scorecard. Let's make it like baseball stats, so it is easy to understand. Whenever another one of these fantastical promises, like the 10,000 biotech jobs, gets thrown up, let's record the names of the players involved, and keep that record like a box score over time. Jack?

Posted by dyspeptic | April 9, 2007 7:03 PM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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