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Preview: Jack Bog's Blog

Jack Bog's Blog

by Jack Bogdanski of Portland, Oregon

Last Build Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2013 17:00:52 -0800

Copyright: Copyright 2013

Have a great weekend

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 17:00:52 -0800

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Pay a compliment, then apologize

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 16:33:19 -0800

This country is cutting out its own soul in the name of correctness.(image)

Drive in from the Couv, *and* deal with MAX?

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 16:09:40 -0800

We're intrigued by the reference, in this article about the CRoCk, to "Portland’s whizzy light-rail system, which many Vancouverites drive across the river to use." How many do you think is "many"?(image)

A newcomer for your blogroll

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 16:02:00 -0800

As we put this blog into mothballs over the next few days, we'll try to leave behind a selection of good links for readers who are interested in some of the issues that we've been covering. In that regard, here's a new blog that's springing up in response to our departure; and here's another one that's been bucking Portland Polite down in Lake O. for a while now. They're just two of a couple of handfuls on our list, which we'll have on our main page soon. We wish them and all our local bloggers well -- even the ones with whom we wholeheartedly disagree.(image)

We'll always have Twitter

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 14:44:08 -0800

As we depart from the blogosphere for a long-ish spell, we're anticipating some serious withdrawal symptoms. In our moments of weakness, we may turn to Twitter for the occasional outburst. We're hoping to keep that to a minimum, but that's our safety valve. If you want to follow what little we've got to say, head over there. Also, Stenchy has his own Twitter page, and apparently he's going to keep going over there from time to time as well.(image)

OHSU scoundrels turning their backs on farmers?

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 13:46:45 -0800

It figures. That place is all about the corporate deal any more. Your health is a lot more important to them if it puts a Mercedes in their driveway than if it doesn't.(image)

Die-hard dinosaurs

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 12:44:21 -0800

The newspaper industry is still pushing in the Oregon legislature to force notices of sheriff's sales to be published in dead-tree newspapers, rather than merely on publicly owned websites like this one. Here's the bill (mysteriously sponsored by no one) that's resisting the inevitable. It's apparently still alive and well in Salem. We hate to see the papers absorb another blow, but the whole idea of requiring that legal notices be printed in hard-copy newspapers is one whose time has come and gone. Long gone.(image)

A snapshot of the City of Portland debt clock

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:45:45 -0800

Since we established our City of Portland debt clock in 2007, we've tried to keep its data as accurate as possible. Whenever the city has released new numbers on its bonds and retirement debts, and whenever the census bureau or the Portland State population experts have issued new population estimates, we've changed our base data and growth assumptions. It's not an exact science, but our projections have been pretty good over the last five years and change. And as of today, our clock shows that the debt per capita is well over $11,000:
As we put this blog into archive-only mode starting this afternoon, we will stop updating the clock -- at least until our hiatus is over, a year or more from now. This post is to serve as a reminder of where we left off, and a starting point for the day, if it comes, when the clock is reprogrammed and started anew. If you'd like to follow, in real time, the massive borrowing in which Oregon government is engaged, go here (a site called i-dealprospectus) and search for Oregon bonds. Another good resource on the subject is here (an outfit called emma). When the politicians put it on plastic, the evidence can usually be found at one or both of those two sites. And the sales documents that are posted there (called "official statements") are a treasure trove of information about our rapidly deteriorating public finances. Many thanks to our long-time friend and technical wizard, Jake Ortman of in Bend, who's the best friend a website operator ever had. He made the debt clock, and indeed this entire blog, possible.(image)

Middaugh's hot rants

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:49:20 -0800

Last week we posted a guest column by businessman Dave Lister about Metro government's mismanagement of the Glendoveer golf course. Lister's complaints were several: - the course was in lousy shape, - the clubhouse had taken on a forlorn look, - Metro president Tom Hughes (we call him Waylon) had falsely promised to maintain or improve conditions at the course, - Metro had unwisely removed private enterprise from running the facility, and - the recent changes had made the course workers all part-time Metro employees, without benefits. It wasn't long before Metro's chief flack, Jim Middaugh, jumped into the comments here to accuse Lister of lying about the facts. Middaugh, who makes around $135,000 in a job that deserves about half that, wasn't polite about the matter, either. He got way up on his high horse and started right in with personal nasties: As usual, Mr. Lister is wrong. Worse, as usual he didn't bother to check his facts with a simple phone call or email.... The lack of honesty and integrity in posts like this is shameful.... People can oppose Metro if they want. When they spread false information I personally believe it warrants a response.... You're facts are still wrong. I don't care how many paychecks you've signed a lie is still a lie. At our request, Middaugh sent us what he says is the written agreement between Metro and its contractor, a California outfit named CourseCo, for the management of the course. You can read it in all its glory here. Looking it over, we see that Lister may have had one fact wrong, but the gist of what he wrote was entirely accurate. You can argue about a couple of the specifics, but to accuse him of dishonesty and lying is total horsepuckey -- the kind in which Metro specializes. Under the contract, it appears that the employees at Glendoveer are now employees of CourseCo, not Metro. But Metro pays every single penny of the employees' paychecks, because the contract passes all operating costs on from CourseCo to Metro. Payroll expenses don't even affect CourseCo's annual bonus. Now bear with us here on the legalese. CourseCo is called the "Operator" in the contract, and here's what the document says: 3.07 Personnel. Operator, as a Direct Cost, shall employ all of the employees of the Golf and Tennis Center and set all terms and conditions of the employment.... So there -- you see? Lister screwed up. The workers are CourseCo employees, not Metro. But read on: 4.0 METRO OBLIGATIONS. ln consideration of Operator's performance of the work described in this Agreement and the Operator's performance of all duties, tasks and obligations of this Agreement throughout the term of this Agreement Metro agrees to pay Operator the Management Fee and Incentive Fee in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 6 and to perform any other obligation specifically enumerated in this Section or in this Agreement.... 7.01 Combined Management Fee. For the provision of all work and services performed under this Agreement, Metro shall pay to Operator a Management Fee consisting of the annual Fixed Management Fee set forth in Sub-section 7.02 and paid in equal monthly installments and the Incentive Management Fee set forth in Sub-section 7.03 and paid in a single lump-sum payment as provided in Sub-Section 7.04. 7.02 Annual Fixed Management Fee For Calendar Year 2013, the Annual Fixed Management Fee paid to Operator shall be $105,000.00. For Calendar Year 2014, the Annual Fixed Management Fee paid to Operator shall be $125,000.00. For Calendar Year 2015 and for each Calendar Year thereafter, the Annual Fixed Management Fee paid to Operator shall be $145,000.00 [with a cost-of-living adjustment -- JB].... 7.03 Incentive Management Fee. ln addition to the Fixed Management Fee, Operator shall earn, and Metro shall pay, an lncentive Management F[...]

Portland arts tax taxes the dead

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 08:45:22 -0800

It just gets stupider and stupider, as Sir Isaac points out another outrageous flaw: Even people who were dead when the Portland arts tax passed, have to pay it. If the city collects $3500 total on this insane idea and gets to keep it, it'll be lucky. See you in the Oregon Supreme Court, ballet lovers.(image)

Guess what's going to save Cully from gentrification

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 07:47:14 -0800

It's going to be a "living eco-district"! Sure, that will work. More reality detachment brought to you by the Portland State Patronage Center, faithfully regurgitated by some guy at the O. You can't make this stuff up.(image)

Portland's about to get "sexy" condo bunker

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 23:46:07 -0800

And here you thought paying for sex is illegal. No way -- the taxpayers will no doubt be paying for this in one way or another. Tri-Met Tiffany's in on it, and you can bet old Char-Lie Hales will bend over backward for Daddy Homer, who owns him. Not only do the real estate boys get to wreck Portland, but they always get the taxpayers to chip in a few mil. And they tell you it's going to be just like the condo towers in Vancouver, B.C., and so that will make it all wonderful. We seem to recall that the bunkers in the SoWhat District were going to be like that, too -- "needle-thin" and "preserving the view corridors" toward the mountains. Instead, that place is one giant, impenetrable wall of Graggalicious crap.(image)

When they know they're right, they won't shut up

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 20:15:21 -0800

Here are the Portland police officers going on and on and on about the guy who shot at them. "I thought I was going to die -- I was terrified -- he pointed the gun right in my face -- I thought of my family." Oh, the drama. And then they killed him. But when the PoPo shoot or beat some innocent, unarmed guy to death, they refuse to say a thing, except years later, when forced to, in a courtroom. It makes it so easy for the world to see when they're in the wrong in a killing. The more they clam up, the guiltier they are. UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: A knowledgable reader adds: "You know what's interesting? Grand jury proceedings are not recorded in Oregon. Every attempt to ever require recordings has been opposed by the district attorneys association. The only suspects ever given recorded grand jury proceedings are police officers, and this is done by discretion of the D.A."(image)

Dear Portland neighbors

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 16:47:40 -0800

You are screwed. Don't you know, the cr-apartment weasels always win? And as for that blatant deception that was pulled on you, we'll all be pointing fingers at each other here at City Hall, so that no one will be accountable. Go by streetcar! Yours in sustainability, Char-Lie Hales Mayor(image)

Happy Muddy Waters Day

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 16:30:58 -0800

The stone started rollin' 98 years ago today.