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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Those Pearl District handouts are really for the poor

Interesting "news story" in the O about the lawsuit that's got Portland's "urban renewal" excesses in check, at least temporarily. The headline and the lead paragraph make clear that the O thinks these legal actions are bad, bad, bad. They "have stalled efforts to help homeless people and create a new employment district downtown." What -- no references to "the children"?

The fact of the matter is that Portland, led by Opie Sten but aided and abetted by Fireman Randy, Mayor Creepy, and Big Pipe Saltzman, has been abusing the urban renewal laws, insisting that places like the Pearl District are "blighted" so that more public funds can be handed out to the favored developers that are turning the city into Fake New York. "[T]hey took the River District hostage and poor people are paying the price," Nick the Fish is complaining. If worthy projects suffer as a result of the mere enforcement of the laws as written, there is no one to blame but the city commissioners themselves. And besides, the coming Post Office boondoggle is likely to be another pile of worthless junk, anyway.

Comments (19)

"there is no one to blame but the city commissioners themselves"
How about the pencil necks that imply they are exercising some degree of investigative reporting when they publish the commissioners PR handouts?

Why don't we just pass out that $48 million in $100 bills on the corner of 5th and Burnside? That should help the local economy! Of course PDC and PFF wouldn't get their share that way!
It is time for the City Club to republish its review of the PDC. All they would have to do is change the names of a few of the principals. The name of the game is the same now as it was 5 years ago.
The PDC et al would probably have gotten away with their urban scam had they not tried to replicate it down on the the river with "So What".
The only 'blight' in the Pearl District is that some of the folks with million dollar condos pay $100 a year in taxes for a little while longer. When those tax breaks run out, stand back and watch the rats abandon that ship.

And note that the real problem here is that they can't borrow more money.

The Council is going to regret seizing control over urban renewal. It may be next year, it may be five years from now, but they're going to get caught misusing this money. It's inevitable - ball's already rolling.

"And besides, the coming Post Office boondoggle is likely to be another pile of worthless junk, anyway."

Yeah, note to Council, there's already an employment center Downtown. It's called Downtown.

good one Snards!
And...what about the 'employment center' over on MLK. Of course I still see folks lining the street out on MLK next to the convention center, so I am not too sure that center is doing its job either!
Question: Could CoP get any more dysfunctional?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes; I fear there area all sorts of untapped opportunities.

"the children" are not a "linchpin", therefore no mention of them in the story.

This twisted, biased headline is a perfect example of how the Oregonian routinely sides with the political establishment. Single party, single newspaper, single philosophy rule is destroying this city and this state.

You know what's interesting to me: These politicians on every level continue to operate in a bubble completely oblivious to the mounting rage of the citizens.
The same level of shady dealings by the same snake-like creatures that slithered by before is eventually going to be met with an anger that will rattle the walls of Congress on down to our City Hall.
The idea of using the "blighted" nature of the Pearl District to try and pump up developers with more public funds, is infuriating.
These politicians ought to try cluing in. They may peek out their windows one day and see a rally outside City Hall and this time it won't be about Sam and Beau.
And Storm Large won't be singing "Amazing Grace" - she'll be singing, "Street Fighting Man".
When our city council makes a decision these days they should imagine themselves in shackles doing a perp walk to the van. A tipping point is approaching. The People are not going to stand for many more shenanigans in this country.

I applaud the Friends of Urban Renewal. I think if its membership became open, it could swell to "1000 Friends of Urban Renewal", easily. And all would pay money to join.

Besides the misuse of "blight" for extension of the River District and "satellite districts", we have several misuses that have happened and soon may happen in SoWhat like the following:

1) $10 Million TIF dollars of SoWhat being misappropriated to the Milwaukie Light Rail. Mayor Sam has promised the SoWhat "stakeholders" that if they would give him the $10M he would see that the north/south streets to be built in the North District of SoWhat (OHSU/Zidell oasis) would be funded with taxpayer money somehow. Backscratching is going on here to shore up Sam's legal and ethical problems.

2) Redefining the criteria for "Affordable Housing". Eligibility will be extended from 50% to 75% of Medium Family Income to 125% under the guise of "Workforce Housing". A $68,000 income could get you call kinds of taxpayer subsidies.

3) "Student Housing" will be added to the definition of "Affordable Housing". Your student neighbor that has parents making $200,000 could be eligible for taxpayer subsidies.

The 50 some true "Affordable Housing" non-profits, agencies in Portland, besides the League of Women Voters and others, should be earnestly examining these soon to be misappropriation of definitions and monies, and object.

One would also think that Commissioner Fish would be questioning this, and ask for input from all the constituencies and agencies he represents.

These politicians on every level continue to operate in a bubble completely oblivious to the mounting rage of the citizens.

Didn't George Will call it "silly faux populism" on This Week...

Easy for him to say while he hides in his $1+ mansion in the 'burbs.

Note to self: call George Will and find out where to get a $1 mansion!

The "haves" really have no idea. You see it constantly in the way that local news directs viewers to their websites for more information when many do not own computers or have access to the internet. You see it in the commercials for products at prices that most of the population cannot afford. The low income are further marginalized by the State and federal minimum wage which is nowhere near a living wage for anybody while City and State define "affordable" in terms that cannot be touched by the low or even mid-low income. And finally we see it in the continual, mulish insistance that everybody must be both aspiring towards and able to afford the purchase of a home, a car and the means to convert from analog to digital television without assistance.

As in our approach to health care, the City, State and Feds throw money at problems and do little to treat the reason that these problems exist.

You can spray air fresher over the body of a decaying skunk until your arm falls off but the corpse doesn't go away.

Hey NW Portlander - you got it somewhat right.
But between businesses providing things people want to spend money on and the gov't - guess which one has a gun to your head to get the $$?

'As in our approach to health care, the City, State and Feds throw money at problems and do little to treat the reason that these problems exist.'

Correct - then why do people keep trusting the same entity will actually solve problems NEXT time - with MORE money?

"Why do people keep trusting the same entity will actually solve problems NEXT time - with MORE money?"

I don't know, D, and I'm not convinced that they do trust those who cling the the helm with a death grip. Look at the same old zombie advisor who continue to rise from past administrations to advise again and again regardless of the harmful processes they participated in earlier. The only people who can afford to run viable campaigns for office are either already wealthy and out of touch with the rank and file or accept so much chum money that they become puppets of the status quo.

We aren't left with much of a choice even if we don't like it.

Sorry, I mis-posted on the wrong topic; it belongs here.
These politicians on every level continue to operate in a bubble completely oblivious to the mounting rage of the citizens.

What mounting rage?

Portland controls the state. If they're feeling "rage", they sure have a funny way of expressing it.

The Oregonian headline in the front page of the Metro section reads "Suits stall city effort to help homeless". Period. Isn't it diabolical that the O can't see the real story. The manipulation of UR has done more to not help homelessness. How has the RiverDistrict that was once the center of Portland's homelessness helped the homeless. They have been displaced and their safety network has been largely moved out.

How does workforce housing that allows a $70T dollar family to qualify for tax subsidies help the truly "homeless"? Some have argued that we need to add workforce housing to the all-encompassing "affordable housing" category because we need to have a mix of economic levels in our urban renewal districts. Now, it seems we have to have more taxpayer dollars to create this so-called economic diversity. Pretty soon, someone is going to state that we need taxpayer subsidies for families making $150T to be able to live in SoWa.

Why don't we somewhat let the free market determine our city's neighborhoods and then really help the real "homeless"; or soon we all might be homeless.

What mounting rage? Remember you asked that later, maybe in a year or two, when the full impact of what we are in, is felt.

"help the David Douglas School District absorb a growing population of students from mostly middle- and low-income families who were moving from the city center to the suburb"

I can't believe they keep repeating this line. Has anyone ever met a family that moved out of the central city to David Douglas?

Meanwhile, the Oregonian's page 1 story, YOUR $TIMULU$ DEAL includes a question and answer that says, in part:

"Economists believe a slow-drip benefit will encourage people to spend money rather than hoard it." (itals, mine)

So now "hoarding" has not only become a bad word - in a suffering economy, anything but spending the stimulus money immediately is apparently less than helpful. That includes, but is not limited to, putting the money in savings, investments, retirement or toward higher education for a child.

According to the Oregonian, "economists" think that anything other than spending my anticipated fortune of $15 a month like a sailor on shore leave is somehow letting America down.

At this point, words fail me.

It seems that today's editorialist on UR read this entry.

The concept that segregating the poor in housing projects and homeless centers has been controversial in popular culture from Dickens' A Christmas Carol" to Utah Phillips' "Larimer Street", and is seems like forever in academic circles.
But in Oregon, if you don't agree with Nick Fish (who, incidently, along with Ed Sullivan and his really big land use shew) is on the board of advisers for the Campaign for Equal Justice, and if you question them, you can't work for Legal Aid Services of Oregon. So much for progressive Oregon and free speech. The gullible are played for fools, but by people who think they are the greatest ever and more powerful than God.

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