Saturday, July 19, 2003
The humungo 30-yard drop box awaits me. Today it is time to end the seige of the driveway of 1220. I've been piling yard debris up on it all Spring and Summer and I still have plywood (bad) and lumber (good) piled up from the ill-fated remodeling (that topic could cover many entries if I cared to take it on here). Time to go out, slathered in sunscreen, and start haulin' ass.
posted by The Brooklynite 10:11 AM
Friday, July 18, 2003
I think I may dive back into shallower end of the literature pool and enjoy the guilty pleasures of a couple more Terry Pratchett Discworld books. I've devoured something like 6 or 7 already this summer. I can only describe them as fantasy meets british humor. I have so far resisted, but I may relent and just finally buy the new Harry Potter. Maybe K will lend it to me. But she might be waiting to read it herself once she has finished the dreaded bar.
I'm interested to catch the news tonight to see what kind of reception the General got today when he came to visit Portland. Remember everybody, Johnny Don't Dance!! It still amazes me that this guy lost an election to a dead guy. You've got to suck pretty bad to lose somebody not even in the race in anymore.
And how about Kobe stepping up and admitting he committed "adultery." The term just sounds quaint and old-fashioned to me for some reason, especially coming out of an NBA superstar's mouth.
And, we are just one week away from my favorite Portland summertime event: the Oregon Brewer's Fest. 72 brewers are coming this year. Woo hoo! And from browsing the list of brews, it looks like Rogue has done it again and will be bringing some unbelievable creation made special for the Fest. Under type of beer, their brew is listed as an Imperial Scwarzbier. I have no idea what that is but it sounds good to me.
posted by The Brooklynite 3:45 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2003
All right enough seriousness.
How about a book? I just finished a fantastic murder-mystery (which I don't normally read) that had whole lots of extra cool stuff in it: The Da Vinci Code. The author delves into the history of the Catholic Church back to the time of Constantine. It seems that Constantine was a shrewd politician and he was behind the reason why many of our modern religious symbols were borrowed from pagan rites. The book does have some controversial ideas that I'm sure the Church, and especially Opus Dei, do not approve. I won't say too much except for that I felt stupid about not knowing that the 5-pointed star, the pentacle, is a symbol for Venus because that is the path it traces in earth's sky over a 4-year period.
posted by The Brooklynite 9:27 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Brooklyn Neigborhood Meeting w/guest Erik Sten
This type of info can usually be found over at the Portland Communique. But since I was playing my part as a concerned citizen and neighbor I might as well report a little about what happened. I could only stay for the first hour o the meeting and, gratefully, that was also the time Erik Sten had allotted. He spoke first about Ross island prety much just recapping old information. But we caught him a little off guard with a question about access to Ross Island from the Brooklyn neighborhood. He jumped on a suggestion to ask Mr. Pamplin to supply access via a road down to the Springwater trail. But that was a perfect set-up for one of our biggest neighborhood gripes: McLoughlin Blvd. Pamplin's road would be great (and from Erik's reaction probably attainable), but a pedestrian crossing across the the superhighway that is McLoughlin would be necessary for anybody to use that access by foot. From there, in the open Q&A forum, we jumped to talking about one of Jack Bog's latest gripes, the South Waterfront Development. Erik was unabashed about his support talking up the negotiated-for minimum 125-foot wide parkway (with parts wider) between the development and the river. He did admit that they gave some leeway on building heights to get those 125 feet. Erik claimed that the 3D computer-generated picture supplied by the Oregonian was an inaccurate conception of the development. Unfortunately, the topic swerved before I had a chance to ask him more about that. In an area that I need to talk to Jack Bog about to understand more clearly, in answer to my question as to how much it would cost us the taxpayers, Erik replied that the first phase would be financed 100% through tax increment financing. He explained that the city would borrow against future property tax revenue and that eventual property tax revenue would pay back the bond (I think bond but I'mnot sure). Eirk provided a wonderfully passionate defense of requiring affordable and low-income housing within the project but did admit that the affordable portions would be rental and not owner-occupied. Then we hit him with the unexpected again asking if he realized how much the development would affect transportation through our neighborhood. He talked of adding 6000 new residential units (he said their were something like 200,000 in the whole city of Portland) right on the other side of the Ross Island Bridge. This wonderfully dengenerated into a bitch-fest about how Brooklyn has gotten the short end way too many times over the last 30 or so years. The city and state continually makes changes to bordering areas that drastically affect our little pocket of a neighborhood, usually making it an even littler pocket. Erik seemed to be somewhat taken aback by the realization of Brooklyn's woes. It then turned to complaints about our neighborhood never being consulted until after decisions were made. [I explained the the big corporation of Fred Meyers did a better job in consulting with neighborhoods than the city referring to Freddy's attempt to put a store next to their corporate HQ on the other side of the tracks a few years ago.] As hot as it got, I give Erik credit, he took the hits on the chin and did not ge defensive. Unfortunately we ran out of time before we could into some really juicy stuff like PGE but he did remark that he would "very possibly support" condemnation proceedings and also noted that Jim F is completely against the idea. He also explained that he was thinking of not a city-government run power utility, but a regional PUD and talked of Seattle and other areas with non-corporate-supplied electricity.
All in all, I give him big points for heading out to a neighborhood meeting. It's the first City commish 've seen at one. And, he did a good job. Brooklyjn is a mostly, very liberal neighborhood that are typical Sten supporters, but we also gave some pitches fast, high and inside and he didn't duck away from the plate.
Now we wait to see if he follows through...
posted by The Brooklynite 10:57 PM
Are we beginning to witness the meltdown of the current administration? With soldiers dying seemingly daily, even though hostilities are formally over (according to President *), unemployment at high levels, the deficit higher than at any time when the demos were in charge of congress, and the press looking like they are waking up to the fact that they are supposed to actually question what the administration is doing.....
just a thought
Tonight I get to focus on the local at the Brooklyn general neighborhood meeting. I doubt many will attend but Erik Sten is on the agenda. Good chance to ask him some questions. I have an affinity for Erik in that we both attended Portland Public Schools, went away for college and came back home to Portland and he's within one year of the same age as me (I can't remember but I think I'm one year older). But that doesn't stop me from being critical when needed.
posted by The Brooklynite 9:19 AM
Monday, July 14, 2003
I'm honestly confused as to what the administration is trying to say about the intelligence based on forged documents. A week ago they admit that the intelligence was bunk. Then they blame the CIA. Then the head of the CIA, George Tenet accepts all the blame for giving the President * bad info. Now via his lackeys including Ari in his parting shots today, say that the State of the Union Speech was accurate. Their logic reminds me of Bill Clinton's logic regarding sexual relations. What is "is" President *? And now Rummy and Ari are saying, angrily, that the war was not based on bad intel. But wasn't the last push for international consensus based on WMD? Didn't Sec. Powell get up in front of the United Nations and try to convince that body of the existence of WMDs? Didn't they give that as amajor reason why the rest of the world should have joined us?
So what did the President know, and when did he know it?
posted by The Brooklynite 4:34 PM