Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Bojack: ”Remember them.”

Jack Bog's Blog is a very popular, if not the most popular, blog in Portland. I was somewhat surprised that few comments were posted. Is this an indication of the fading from our country's values the sacrifices of these American men and women and their families?

Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to remember all those who have died while in military service. Typically though it seems to focus more on WWII veterans. I am not sure of the why, but maybe it is just my perception.

But it is clear that once it was a well respected holiday when the nation truly seemed to express its appreciation of the sacrifices of the men and women who served during WWII – but no longer.

Maybe worst yet is that today's wars seem to go nearly unnoticed when it comes to the sacrifices of these men and women who go off to fight with a substantial number never to return alive. And ironically with the medical technology to save lives in the theater, many more return today with physical and psychological injuries that leaves them far from having a normal life.

I wonder - why do we care so little?

The dead and wounded - little attention, except today in some newspapers. One of those papers is the Washington Post which has photos of all those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan and can be sorted out in various categories, e.g., by states. Another site for Iraq and Afghanistan casualties is icasualties.

© 2010

Z Man

Portland Police Department News Release: “PORTLAND, Ore. – May 28, 2010 – The Portland Police Bureau partnered with local businesses and community leaders to raise more than $100,000 during the Z-Man Scholarship Foundation’s first annual benefit auction at the Oregon Convention Center last Saturday, May 22.”

Z Man, Mark Zylawy, was a Portland Police Officer that was exceptionally well liked among his fellow officers and in the community. For more on Z Man see About Z Man at Z Man Scholarship Foundation.

It is discouraging but not unexpected that this news release received no attention in the media. The media chokes on providing positive information on anything related to the police department even when the message is scholarship.

© 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Far from a plum job

Oregonian: ”Oregon's schools chief: A plum job that no one wants.”

The piece by Susan Nielson points out the obvious - $72,000 is insufficient salary for someone who heads the state school system. But, her contention that the position is a plum job is incorrect. It is a far cry from being a desirable position.

It would seem that it would take more than money to attract a quality person. But if salary comparisons are to be made with other states, it should be compensation that is compared. However, $72,000 is clearly insufficient to attract anyone of value.

Oregon schools are more known for their failures than anything else. Government leaders point to everyone but themselves for the failures. School unions point to the state and anti-unionists point to the union.

There is no doubt that the superintendent position is clearly challenging however filled. Arguably, it should not be an elective position. Look at the two candidates: an incumbent who has by all reports failed and a challenger Ron Mauer who is a Republican representative from Grants Pass. The latter is supported by a group called ResistNet.com Home of the Patriotic Resistance. Scary.

An analysis should be completed of successful state school superintendents, or the equivalent, on how the position is filled, compensation provided, and the recruitment strategies. Ability to act independently has to be a job prerequisite and part of the job description. Elective office rarely attracts those who are not beholden to some political party. Oregon is doing it wrong - we can do better.

Change has to occur. Oregon state government is failing Oregon's children, and thereby jeopardizing Oregon's future. But don't expect anything to change soon. It is like an addict - the bottom has to be hit before the government realizes that they are the problem. It is easy to predict that our schools will become worse, but the bottom is near.

Arguably, responsible parents will send their children to private schools or move to Washington. Those who sport those bumper stickers about their children going to public schools are short changing their children's future.

© 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Voter owner elections?

The Oregonian had two articles recently, one by Dave Lister and another by Jesse Cornett. The former is opposed to public financing elections and the latter is a proponent. Both lost in their election bid, Mr. Lister in 2006 and Mr. Cornett in the recent 2010 election.

Mr. Lister's piece is more of a diatribe against the Portland Business Alliance, and Mr. Cornett's is an irrational attempt to justify public financing despite his overwhelming failure. Mr. Cornett's use of $150,000 of public funds demonstrated that it isn't the financing that elects candidates.

Voter owned elections is a misnomer. If anything, it ought to be called voter owned candidates. Thus in the ordinary case – the candidates are often financed by those who expect a return on their investment and arguably get it. E. g., the business person who gives large donations to a candidate can expect “his” candidate to answer the phone..

The value of public financing ought to be that the person elected is beholden to those who elected him or her – the citizens. Of course, it is the same citizens that vote whether the campaign is publically financed or not. So what is to keep the candidate from being influenced by the special interests?

It is the special interests that wield the influence at city hall. It is they that have the time, or money to hire those (lobbyists) that do, to seek out elected representatives to put forth their position.

City council members – publically financed campaigns or not – are hobnobbing with developers and business people with the bucks – not John Q public. When is the last time you had lunch with your representative at city hall?

Lobbying is key to Portland city governing. Portland Business Alliance (PBA) is an example of the omnipresent lobbyists wielding in many cases a nearly unbridled power to have their agenda as the city's.

But even given the likelihood that special interest's positions will get the attention of the elected official – it isn't clear that a city official is in fact inappropriately influenced or that the fact public funds were used in his or her election somehow sets up a zone of invulnerability.

The issue may be how to elect those who genuinely want to serve the public. And there has to be some recognition that those who serve at the local government level are often good people who we disagree with. Of course there are exceptions – Sam Adams is one.

Isn't the real issue – transparency and accountability?

© 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Passive house

Daily Journal of Commerce: ”Passive House popular in Portland.”

The Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC) article speaks to the new (not really) green like concept – passive house. The passive house in one built to be an air tight envelope. It is expected to be 90% more energy efficient than a standard house. But it is an old concept that has in the past failed leading to a multitude of mold lawsuits. The new designs are alleged to have eliminated those issues.

The “passive house” is another one of those “green” items that Portland seems to thrive on discussing, yet the costs are usually downplayed. This is not an inexpensive construction and its uses are limited to areas with moderate climate. As of April 2010 there has only been 10 buildings, 8 are single family homes, certified in the US – 0 in Portland. Portland does have 3 pre-certified. [See Article and chart].

The added cost for a passive house is not insubstantial. “As you eliminate the mechanical systems, the cost is only 10 to 15 percent more than building to current codes.” [DJC]. In one example - “It raised the up-front cost by about $18,000, but it takes no energy to heat the house. It pays off for the customer.” Thus, the argument is that it raises the cost but the costs are recovered by the home purchaser because the cost to heat the house is less.

But it isn't clear how much of those costs are actually passed on to the consumer. Arguably, the full additional cost. $30k to $45k of additional costs to a $300,000 house is not inconsequential. And, just how long will it take the customer to recoup those costs?

So it would seem that this is just another item like the Prius cars whereby only the wealthy can afford to pay the extra price to be green.

It should be noted that the use of the term “passive house” is incorrectly used in the article. That use requires that the building has been so certified and there are none in Portland. The best that can be said of the passive house concept is in the following quote from the excellent and comprehensive Article referenced above:

"I don’t think Passive House is expected to achieve extremely high market penetration (though it would be great if it did); it is intended to be a leading-edge standard that will demonstrate what is possible—and make it a lot easier to create true net-zero-energy buildings, which should be our ultimate goal."

To be sure green costs.

© 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portland Oregon Public financed elections

Oregonian: ”Debate begins as Portland City Council sends public campaign financing to ballot.”

Portland has decided to leave it to the voters whether its foray into public financed elections should continue. The Portland Business Alliance did their best to have the city council renege on its promise five years ago to place the continuance of the process on the ballot.

It should be an interesting debate. Costs of public financing should not be an issue. If that process produces viable candidates that otherwise would not have taken part - then it should be retained. Proponents will have a difficult sell.

But if the opposition is led by the likes of Portland Business Alliance whose only goal is to protect their candidates - they will shift the debate in favor of public financing.

Candidates with the private money backing have not only the funds but access to the political marketing skills (the best that their money can buy). This increases their likelihood of winning elections.

But consider this from Wikipedia: "In 2006, the first year the law went into effect, two candidates availed themselves of this system: incumbent Erik Sten, and Amanda Fritz (in her challenge to Dan Saltzman.) Sten won in the primary, barely clearing the 50% threshold; Fritz lost in the primary. Emilie Boyles also qualified for and received public financing, but was found to have gathered the qualifying funds improperly, and misspent the public funds."

These results can't be viewed as success. Erik Sten won, but he was an incumbent. Amanda Fritz lost her first attempt against an incumbent, and her successful second attempt was for an open seat – no incumbent. Jesse Cornett lost miserably in his attempt to unseat an incumbent. He was third but just barely, and was bested by a second place, non-publically financed candidate. The incumbent retained his seat.

Emilie Boyes was an aberration. Ironically the very nature of the public financing was her undoing.

Hopefully the debate will be rational, but it doesn't look good for public financing .

© 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I only had two drinks

Willamette Week: ”Read the Report: Oregonian Editorial Page Editor Blows 0.10 in DUII after ‘Two Drinks’ ”

'I only had two drinks and therefore I cannot be drunk' seems to be the preferred defense to drunk driving. This is Mr. Caldwell's proffered defense. He is the Oregonian's editorial editor and that is why it is news.

Mr. Caldwell was given the sobriety test around 12:45 in the morning. This was a good two hours after his last drink – so he says. And his last drink was his second glass of wine.

The Week hedges a bit when it states: ”Some say it would be difficult, if not impossible, for someone of that weight and height to blow 0.10 percent on a blood-alcohol test after drinking just two glasses of wine. ” Take a look at links below and do your own calculations – it is impossible for anyone to have a .10 test result after drinking two glasses of wine, pick your own size of glass, with two hours elapsing from the last and second glass.

Of course the test instrument could be out of calibration, but not likely that inaccurate. Looks at a few of the signs of inebriation: backed into a car at 5 to 8 miles per hour, “stumbled” to access the damage, had to balance himself by leaning on his own vehicle, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and smelled of booze. But you might read DWI/DUI Facts & Fiction: Urban Myths.

One suspect that there is much more to this story. It will be interesting to see what his lawyer does for him.

BAC calculator
Alcohol contents
BAC
Oregon DUII law
BAC chart men

© 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Modular housing: low quality housing for low incomes

Daily Journal of Commerce: ”Modular housing project a first for Portland.”

The Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC) article was about the potential (probable?) use of modular construction for affordable housing in Lents. The affordable rent? “Residents will pay no more than 30 percent of their income for housing.“

I suspect that this is incorrect. I believe it meant to say 30% of the median family income (MFI). Thus for an income restricted apartments, the 30% MFI for a family of one is a maximum income of $14,700 with the rent set at $397/month. [See PDC 2009 median family income and affordability].

Affordable is one of those words that is context specific. It means something different to each listener. It is used to placate everyone especially the working class. However, it means income (low) restricted housing, and often it is quality restricted housing too.

E. g., it was stated in the DJC article that “[y]ou can’t tell it’s modular housing, It looks like a quality stick-built project.” That from Portland Housing Bureau representative. But, check out an earlier DJC.com article: ”Unico using modular units to build 'iPod apartments.'” You see - it is easy to distinguish modular construction.

In an attempt to upgrade their quality there is the use of terms like "iPod" and "Lego" to convey that smallness means quality. Too bad that which the income restricted tenant receives is only the smallness.

I like this 2007 blog post title ”New Urban Modular Housing Units Are Called Mobile Homes in the Country.” Modular housing isn't far from stacking shipping containers. E. g., take a peek again at the image found in the DJC article. [See too seattlepi.com].

Prefab housing has been around for decades and has never successfully found a niche. Check out this 2006 interesting UK article for another take: “Is the prefab revolution on hold?”

Modular housing has raised its ugly head again because of the public funding – it would not sell otherwise.

© 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Enterprising software

New York Times: ”An Ad Engine to Put ‘Mad Men’ Out of Business.'

Ad revenue is what finances news publications. Print newspapers rose to heights of profitability not on its circulation but on the revenue from the print ads. And, so it follows that ad revenue is the key to their online presence.

Yeah the statistics still show the old folks as reading the print media but the same statistics show the younger folks as reading the online media. Newspapers conglomerates like Advance Publications (the Oregonian is a part) are striving to connect their print and online readers to local businesses thus increasing their ad revenue. [See post “Changing of the business model".

“One way this connection is made is by Everyblock "which is a “block-level aggregation of news application.” It is another move that “expands the growing emphasis that the newspaper sales force can help local firms grow their businesses on the best medium, offering marketing solutions beyond print.” See Blog Inside out.

There is another connection being made by software called PlaceLocal that generates the local business ads. Type in the company's name and address and it “takes over, gathering basics like telephone number, hours of business, maps and directions, and adding positive comments extracted from local blogs. “ See samples of ads at the PaperG Web site.

One can (or should) expect news media organizations like the Oregonian/Oregonlive to employ this ad generation to generate the local business ad revenue they so sorely need to survive. Arguably, the Oregonian can doubly benefit because it uses published neighborhood blogs to promote local neighborhood and businesses.

© 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

TIF graphic

Jack Bog's Blog: ”How "urban renewal" kills off livability.”

A must see graphic is on Jack Bog's Blog. It gives one of the best, if not the best, representation of urban renewal financing – tax increment financing (TIF). As Jack states: ”It shows quite clearly why diverting property taxes to pay for condo bunkers and other toys winds up breaking a city or nuking its quality of life ”

© 2010

People's choice

Willamette Week: ”Portland Business Alliance to Council: Kill Public Financing Now.”

The Portland Business Alliance (PBA) would like to kill off the public financing without it being presented to the public for a vote. Their rationale is that results don't justify the expenditures.

And, that may be true. The recent defeat of the publically financed candidate seems like an excellent example. He spent nearly $150,000 and came in third, really just a hair away from 4th.

Commissioner Fritz, a success story for public financing, was quoted as saying: “The system was not designed to defeat incumbents, it was designed to give every Portlander an opportunity.” It may be important to note that she won an open seat not having to go against an incumbent.

I think she has it wrong. It is a competitive process and spending public money just to give people an opportunity not to defeat an incumbent doesn't make sense. Open seats don't occur with any great frequency, and defeating incumbents is the task at hand.

But she is correct in that it ought to go to the public for vote. This process shouldn't be killed by vote of the incumbents. Public financing has only been alive for five years and it isn't clear that it has received a fair test.

Amanda Fritz is the poster child for public financing while Jesse Cornett is the other side of the coin. Arguably, public financing or not, Mr. Cornett never had a chance against Commissioner Saltzman in that there were eight other candidates fracturing the vote. How he was financed was irrelevant.

And isn't it interesting that PBA will be spending member's (business community) money to defeat public financing? PBA has so ingrained themselves into the Portland political process they stand to lose by having publically financed candidates elected.

Voters should have the opportunity to voice their decision directly via the ballot box, not indirectly through council members. Democracy costs.

© 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oregonian makes its own news

Willamette Week: "Oregonian Reporter Fired After Diane Downs Story Appears in Glamour (UPDATED with Bhatia comment)." [The Week's link is non-functioning - try its home page.]

Thanks to the Week we learn that the Oregonian has made it own news. Its editor Bob Caldwell gets arrested for DUII and the Oregonian fires a 12 year veteran reporter for publishing (co-writing) an article in Glamour Magazine.

But it is the firing of the reporter that draws interest. According to the Week, the Oregonian editor Peter Bhatia stated: “I respect Lisa," "I think she’s a fine reporter.” What does that mean? More than that the Oregonian knew the article was to be published and wanted to wait until they read it before deciding her fate?

Isn't there more to this? A 12 year Oregonian reporter fired, not disciplined, for this alleged breach of a failure to "run [it] past us before Lisa took the assignment.” Apparently, it is not a written Oregonian policy - just an understanding.

Take a peek at some of stories that Lisa Grace Lednicer has written for the Oregonian. Also see this AP story that ran in the Oregonian recently covering the story that includes ABC. Take a look at the Glamour article at issue. It is well done and nearly out of character with Glamour.

There is more to this story. She writes very well. She was only identified as being a reporter at the Oregonian. She is a co-author, and arguably not her story to run by anyone. And, Glamour is hardly competitive with the Oregonian no matter how that is loosely defined.

Ironic too, as one commenter in the Week pointed out - is that the two publications are in the same family of publications.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Incompetency reigns at city hall

Oregonian: ”Saltzman, Fish hold Portland council seats; Cogen wins Multnomah County chair.”

From the percentage of the votes, Mr. Saltzman easily won re-election. The Oregonian stated: "The commissioner said he was both "humbled and grateful." Then in the next paragraph he was neither. Mr. Saltzman won because of the lack of competition.

One must exercise caution in declaring Mr. Saltzman a "winner" in an election that typically favors the incumbent. We will probably never learn, and the news media won't make the effort, what percentage of eligible voters actually voted. In absolute numbers it is doubtful that Mr. Saltzman has any appreciable support of Portlanders.

With 8 challengers the vote wasn't just split it was fractured. Even the strongest challenger could not expect to receive enough votes to push the election into a runoff. Can anyone name all of the challengers? Can anyone name the top three challengers?

Doesn't one wonder how with $150,000 of the public's money to spend - Jesse Cornett came in 4th with less than 7% of the vote. [The Week]. Where did he spend that money? According to the Oregonian, Mary Volm spent $21,000 to achieve second place. Public financing - what a waste.

Interesting that Mary Volm was proud to be a loser. [See the Oregonian]. One doesn't enter a political race to be second - there is no second place prize. Apparently, she and the other challengers garnered only 45% of the vote.

Mr. Saltzman was fortunate that there was not one competent challenger. And Mr. Saltzman was aided by Mayor's Adams' vindictive act of removing the police department from him.

So the city goes on with not one competent leader on the council.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PDC post office pollution

Oregonian: ”DEQ cites pollution at Portland's Main Post Office site in the Pearl District.”

The post office site in the Pearl District next to Union Station in Old Town has long been coveted by River District URA (Pearl). Apparently if the site is to be for housing and commercial uses there will have to be some pollution cleanup.

The Oregonian article seems to make a big ado about nothing. $340,000 as a pollution cleanup cost seems minuscule. But since the post office hasn't moved yet - why is the cleanup an issue?

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) is still negotiating the final price. $2 million in earnest money has been guaranteed. Some of that money has been paid. Who is paying for the acquisition of the property and cleanup costs?

The article fails to mention that it is the River District URA's property tax payers that will be funding the borrowing for this property acquisition and pollution cleanup. Although one might argue that the cleanup cost can be shifted to the developers - that is not likely to happen.

PDC put themselves into a strange bargaining position, i. e., guaranteeing $2 million to the feds irrespective of the negotiations. But, PDC seems to have been able to delay final negotiations and the complete payment of the $2 mil – hoping that the developer's “good times” will return.

In the meantime Pearl will be paying the $2 mil even if the "good times" don't return.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PDC: Ethics 1 to 1

Oregonian: “PDC board member who supported Moyer's offer has dispute with his company.”

PDC commissioners in the recent vote that determined their stay in Old Town exposed the ease with which ethics can be self determined. There are 5 commissioners – 4 voted, one recused himself.

"[Commissioner] Straus declared a potential conflict of interest [and voted]. Commissioner Mohlis declared an actual conflict of interest [and didn't vote]." ”Straus, president of engineering firm Glumac, has a financial connection to Moyer's TMT Development.” Mr. Mohlis is the executive secretary-treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Buildings Trades Council whose "group would receive union dues paid by crews working on Park Avenue West."

Mr. Mohlis's recusal decision was correct, but between the two it was Mr. Straus that should have recused himself. His vote could be argued as being a "payment" or "peace" offering to the Moyer organization. Mr. Straus has a direct financial connection to Mr. Moyer and one can surmise that Mr. Moyer will "remember" his vote.

Determining ethics is much like self regulating businesses - only that conduct which is clearly illegal will be avoided. And in the case of Mr. Moyer - Park Avenue West project - even the illegal conduct is ignored. [See Portland's Illuminati.]


© 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PDC stays put

Oregonian: ”PDC will keep headquarters in Old Town.” [See PDC media release.]

I could not be more pleased to know that I was wrong in my analysis of the PDC move. On one side it seemed such an irrational consideration to move from established headquarters in Old Town to an undeveloped hole in the ground downtown. But on the other side – it seemed so Portland for political reasons to justify such a move because of jobs.

We will probably never know what went into this decision not to move. I found it interesting that apparently ECONorthwest released a study on the day of the decision announcement determining the positive economic effect of PDC employee spending in Old Town.

Also interesting was the fact that there was one commissioner that voted to move. The Oregonian doesn't state who that person was or why there was not a vote by the fifth commissioner. The vote was 3-1.

But there was what I would call a lapse in reporting by the Oregonian. Apparently the other prospective tenants for the Moyer's Park West project were not committed to becoming tenants. This should have been reported weeks ago.

But all is well that ends well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Portland's Illuminati

Oregonian: “Supreme Court ruling means prominent Portland developer Tom Moyer must face campaign charges.”

The upstanding citizen Mr. Moyer, Portland developer and PDC's probable new landlord, in 2003 slipped the Francesconi mayoral campaign $4,500. Mr. Moyer illegally made the contribution through his employee, an executive assistant, and his own granddaughter. Needless to say that should be enough to make one wonder about Mr. Moyer's character.

Multnomah County prosecutors charged all three with a felony. Mr. Moyer who is 91 apparently cares little about those he involved in the crime. One wonders even if the employee and granddaughter were aware that they were committing a felony or even that they thought about challenging Mr. Moyer's conduct.

The Oregonian never gets to motive. Was Mr. Moyer buttering his bread on both sides? Why was he 'afraid' to have it known that he made the contributions? According to the article – Mr. Francesconi was unaware of the origin of the contributions. Although, if he had read the list of contributors – the thought of origin must have crossed his mind.

But ethics takes a back seat in Portland. Oregonian's Anna Griffin has a relevant article - ”Dan Saltzman flap a reminder of what a small town Portland is in civic circles.” Mr. Saltzman – the 'shy' politician apparently never thought once that his own selfishness would bring his girlfriend into the limelight. After all he is part of incestuous Portland political elite.

Anna Griffin, as has others, tries to let him off the hook by noting that all of the other board members voted with him. But that is Portland where even despite by-laws committee chairs – e. g., Mr. Saltzman – are given the mantle of dictator. Her last two sentences says it all: ”Small town life has its charms. Political incestuousness isn't one.”

In Portland – those with money and power will act irrespective of the legality or propriety. It is not likely that Mr. Moyer or his two cohorts will serve any time. Mr. Moyer has the money and the lawyers that come with money to pursue this until there is no more than a slap on the wrist – if that.

Anna Griffin's article makes it clear that there is a rather small group of individuals that are the political power in the city, county and therefore the state. It is people like Mr. Moyer who funds this group making sure his wealth is spread amongst them.

Apparently – ethics is not a positive character trait.

© 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 12th PDC decision day?

Portland Tribune: “PDC’s possible move alarms Old Town.”

Peter Korn writes a decent piece about the move of Portland Development Commission (PDC) from its Old Town headquarters to a new downtown location at Park West. Park West project hasn't been built and is unlikely to be built in the near future without PDC becoming their tenant.

There is a tendency to give too much credit to PDC as an urban renewal agency for development in Old Town. The economic progress in Old Town has come by the way of PDC more as a firm and not as a government agency executing urban renewal policies.

Although the number of employees presently at PDC seems to vary dependent on the reporting, it was a fair size firm when it moved into its present location in 2004 - more like 220 employees. But, its real contribution to Old Town came because of the fact that there were 200 plus employees – mostly professional – spending time and money in Old Town.

While it still is a city government agency it is also operates very differently from other agencies. Its day to day operations are unlike other agencies or departments. In almost every respect it is more akin to a private enterprise.

PDC gave Old Town its only air of respectability. Mercy Corps, University of Oregon, and others. e. g., architects, located in Old Town because of PDC's presence. That presence has been responsible for the start up and growth of businesses directly dependent on PDC employees, e. g., Backspace.

And Old Town has received the benefit of the job multiplier effect whereby business and employee dollars were spent locally creating new jobs while maintaining others. If PDC moves, it seems guaranteed, there will be a reverse multiplier effect.

While there might be an argument that it will be a mere shift of jobs location, thus, while one area loses the other area gains with a zero net effect. But no location is as sensitive to an economic loss as Old Town. Downtown is fairly well established and PDC's move there will be almost indiscernible.

But, Old Town's loss of this firm/agency will have a negative ripple effect. Not only will there be a loss of and to the neighborhood businesses – there will be the loss of economic development.

E. g., is it unlikely that the Asian market Uwajimaya will locate in Old Town. If PDC remains in Old Town, it isn't clear that the market will keep their expansion plans; but without PDC employees as their initial customer base they cannot build.

The negatives far outweigh any possible positives. The bailing out of a rather ignorant risk taker Moyer and his stalled project has no demonstrative economic value to the city. It does have political value in placating the likes of Mr. Moyer and the political gain that comes from claiming job creation.

PDC is expected, once again, to announce their decision at the May 12th meeting. It is on the agenda at 5:30.

© 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

PINTS in Old Town

An interesting pub concept is found in a new coffee house/pub recently opened at 412 NW 5th Ave in Portland, Oregon.

"PINTS is Everyday Coffee in the morning and Urban Taproom in the afternoon. PINTS featuring locally roasted coffee and fresh pastries to start off your day and craft beers on tap to take the edge off in the afternoon." PINTS.

© 2010