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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stacking the deck

In Portland, we have "do process" -- there's no limit to what the city will "do" to its citizens to make sure that dissident voices (a) are ignored, (b) are subverted to look as though they support whatever scam the politicians and bureaucrats are into at the moment, or (c) are jerked around with procedural maneuvers to prevent them from getting organized in an effective way. This Thursday's Lents area "citizen advisory committee" vote on the Paulson stadiums scam is a case in point.

It's not clear what the heck the committee will be voting on -- the Paulson proposal, or some sort of counterproposal. And the neighborhood can't adequately prepare to speak to the proposal -- they won't get the details until hours, or even minutes, before the vote. Great.

The neighbors are screaming that the process isn't fair, but it's clear that Mayor Creepy and Fireman Pele have the thing wired, and don't want to hear anything more from those pesky little Felony Flats pawns past around 10:00 Thursday night. They bought off some gal named Cora Potter a long time ago, and she's the head of the "citizens advisory" group. And so on goes the railroading -- or in this case, the light-railroading.

The opponents are staging a rally at 5:00 at the site of the open house and meeting -- Mount Scott Center (SE 72nd & Harold). They'll have to get a huge crowd there to stop this. Heaven help them.

Comments (9)

Maybe we should join the opponents Thursday evening at the Mount Scott Center to give the members of the citizens advisory committee a preview of what it will be like around Lents Park on game nights if the stadium is built: traffic congestion, not enough parking, noise etc. Be sure to come by car.

Jack, will we find you upfront with the bull horn?

This is slightly off topic, but appropriate considering they interview Adams. They really prop up Portland in comparing it to Denver. I just happened to catch this episode of this PBS series. Makes it seem like Portland is paradise. And to me, in some ways it is!


I'll be there. Will you?

is the rally tuesday night at five pm or thursday night?

I'll be there, and I hope lots of people will take the time and trouble to show up. It may be a lost cause, with all the powers-that-be ranged against the people of Lents, but this rally is one of only a few chances to show those powers that the people of Portland don't like this deal.

I don't live in Lents, and I've only been to Lents Park once, but this issue concerns me (and should concern all of Portland) as much as it concerns the residents of Lents. There are so many things wrong with this stadium project. There's the fiscal insanity and criminality of it. Not just the waste of money in general, but this is literally Robin-Hood-in-Reverse financing, taking tax dollars from the poor to give to the very, very rich. There's the loss of park space and mature trees to make large parking lots, which will lessen the quality of life for Portlanders and make a complete joke of Portland's clean-and-green reputation. And there's the moral issue of taking precious public park land and handing it over to a private, profit-making corporation. This sets a dangerous precedent. If you think it's just Lents Park at risk, think again. Wait until the City Council decides your local park would be perfect for, oh I don't know, a miniature golf green. Sure, the city will say they "own" the green (like they'll "own" the stadium), but you won't be able to use it without paying a fee to the commerical interest that runs it.

While nobody expects a turnout like Tehran, we all know numbers count. A good turnout will be noticed, a poor turnout will make it seem like people don't really care. And that would be a shame. Details on the rally and other information on this disaster-in-the-making are at the Friends of Lents website: http://lentspark.blogspot.com.
Hope to see you there.

The regular meeting of Friends of Lents Park is today, Tuesday the 16th, in the gazebo at Lents Park, at 6:00. We will go over the latest info and plan for Thursday.

The important rally/protest is going to be on THURSDAY, June 18th, outside the MT. SCOTT COMMUNITY CENTER at the corner of SE Harold and 72nd, from 5 to 6 pm, followed by the meeting in which the URAC wants to vote on a funding package for the stadium.

Note that their vote assumes the stadium will be built in Lents Park; the argument is only HOW MUCH of the Lents (and 5 other neighborhood) URA funds to take out of the neighborhoods and give to one project.

This is not an issue only to Lents; the wider implication for use of funds should be of concern to the whole city. For that reason, we welcome ANYONE who wants to add to our numbers that night. The more people who come to watch NON-democracy in action, the better. Today, Lents; tomorrow, maybe your neighborhood.

Somehow we must convince the URAC board and the city council to use URA funds for the purpose they are intended. See this post today on the Stump, by a URAC board member:

PLease, Portland, help us stop this boondoggle!

This "do process" makes Portland and the parts of Oregon it influences anti-intellectual and impossible. People who try to initiate discussion about controversial issues are belittled, defamed and ignored without meaningful recourse. Then when they show up en masse to protest, they are again belittled as "the angry mob".

No matter how many Pulitzers and other prizes certain talented writers at the O win, the paper will never be what it could be until it gets to the bottom of this game.

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