Daily Archives: December 8, 2010

Portland’s economy a drag on Clark County

Sure to incense some south of us, an article from Wednesdays’ Columbian states, “A report released Tuesday suggests that Portland’s economy has not kept pace with comparable cities, and that our neighbor to the south may be dragging Clark County down.”

“Portland’s economic shortcomings have influenced Clark County since the 1980s, and more recently, Portland’s economy has worsened Clark County’s high unemployment rate, said Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department.”

Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon said, “My sense is that if you’re going to view Clark County as essentially a bedroom community, they’re going to be very dependent on the job market in Portland. Portland workers who reside in Clark County are more at risk for job cuts.”

Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department adds, “Unemployment claims filed by Clark County residents because they lost a job in another state have grown substantially faster than regular claims since the beginning of the recession.”

Clark County’s unemployment remains at 13%.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mr. Why: Opposition Mounts to Milwaukie Light Rail;Tri Met Fast Tracks No Bid Contract to Thwart Them

by Mr. Why

Clackamas County’s hearing room will be packed with opponents to the Milwaukie extension of light rail both today from 5:30-7pm and tomorrow. But as opposition mounts Tri Met also meets today to connive a way to build a light rail bridge with money they don’t have while cheerleading a new tax for car owners for a Sellwood Bridge fix. The point is: there’s always money “found” for light rail while holding hostage the fixes to the broken down Sellwood Bridge for use by cars. The fix is in and here’s how it’s going down. Buckle up your seat belt.
TriMet will authorize the selling of $722 million in bonds and a NO BID contract for the Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge. It will go down in infamy as the largest single day misappropriation for the most ill conceived project in Oregon history. 

Here’s the agenda for today’s meeting. 

NO BID CONTRACT
“Resolution 10-12-65 Authorizing a Contract with Kiewit Infrastructure West, Inc. for Design-Build Services for the Willamette River Bridge Segment of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project “

As one observer notes:

“Note that they’ve super sized the bond debt since last month: $159 million in capital grant receipt bonds (to be paid back through regional flex funds); $63 million (not the previously claimed $40 or even the “amended” $40-60 million) in payroll tax-backed bonds; and $500 million in revenue bonds (hopefully paid back from FTA grants).”

In meantime they’ll stick it to car owners for a $40 car tax to supposedly help with fixes to the Sellwood Bridge. But that’s just what they want you to think. In fact, that money will help free up money for light rail. After the hearing on the issue November 24th, Clackamas County Commissioner Barnard acknowledged the bridge would get built without Clackamas County’s $22 million. A task that would be much easier if Metro’s $178 million in flex funds intended for Milwaukie Light Rail was re-allocated to the bridge. Instead Sam Adams intends on re-allocating $20 million from the Sellwood bridge to Milwaukie Light Rail. No wonder they want Clackamas County’s $22 million for the bridge. It’s a despicable shell game.
Tri Met and the Clackamas County Commission are conspiring to thwart the will of most of Clackamas County and issue a NO BID contract to build a bridge for light rail to a place NOBODY wants and stick the taxpayers with the bill. As the Clackamas County Review observed from the November 24th meeting, 

At least at the hearing last week, few were persuaded by county officials’ arguments for the toll.
Leonard Nixon, 72, drove up all the way from between Colton and Molalla with his friend Joe Davis.
“What this is is a foot in the door for more taxes and fees,” Nixon said. “Once government gets one of these taxes or fees started, they never let it go.With over 10 percent unemployment, people have a responsibility to become involved in making government agencies think outside the box to not hurt average people.”

He’s right, of course. But Tri Met and now the Clackamas County Commission don’t care about the taxpayers.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com






November 24, Board Of County Commisoners hearing on the Sellwood bridge 

at 41:45 is Portlander Jonathan Nicholas’ lecture.
He was among the invited testimony.
Take note of his finish when he tells the comissioners they have the support of people of Clackamas County.


Revenue from this new, County-only Vehicle Registration Fee (which comes on top of State vehicle registration fees you pay every other year) could be used to pay for the Commissioners’ $22 million donation they have pledged to the Sellwood Bridge project and for other special projects within the county and the cities (a full report can be found in the NW Connection, October 2010 issue.  

—–Original Message—–
From: stevescare@aol.com
Sent: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 6:14 pm
Subject: Ask Jonathan? Should you pay for this bridge?


Regarding the Sellwood Bridge story below.
No one was more insulting in the hearing than Jonathan Nicholas. His condescending assertion that the new fee and county’s $22 million share of the bridge was best for the
people of Clackamas County was delivered with the kind of pompous speak that impressed no one. 
 

From story below:
“In criticizing opponents of the fee, Jonathan Nicholas, vice president of ODS, said that not building the bridge would have a larger impact on job and income growth of local companies. “There are those, and they may be legion, who fail to grasp the importance of the task at hand, crippled by self-interest, they threaten those they most profess (to protect),” Nicholas said.”
  
The dispute is not over building or not building the bridge. Despite Nicholas’ and the Commission’s attempt to manipulate the debate. 

So who was that Jonathan Nicholas from ODS? Just a concerned Clackamas County Business guy? Not hardly.  
I immediately recognized Nicholas as the left wing Oregonian columnist/bike zealot who advocates converting the City of Portland into a Bike Mecca. In addition to his long time support and advocacy for things TriMet/Metro and the City of Portland. In fact Nicholas would prefer an even more extreme version of the Portland agenda. 
He might as well have been Rex Burkholder, Earl Blumenauer or Sam Adams offering advise for Clackamas County. 
   
It’s no wonder he showed up at the BCC hearing. He is the perfect guy to deliver the Portland agenda.   
Just what Peterson and the board wanted and probably arranged. 
  
And what a perfect demonstration of Peterson’s allegiance to and advocacy for that Portland agenda.
Google and you’ll find plenty of Jonathan Nicholas. 
Here’s a quick sample.  
“Jonathan Nicholas, Vice President of the ODS Companies and chair of the Metro Executive Council for Active Transportation, testifies in support of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030”

Hey Jonathan, Keep Portland Weird.
But keep it in Portland. 
I’m pretty sure the Commissioners will get that same message on Dec 9th.

Should you pay for this bridge?

Residents pack Clackamas County hearing room to protest a new $5 vehicle registration fee increase proposed to fund the 85-year-old Sellwood Bridge

By Raymond Rendleman
The Clackamas Review, Nov 30, 2010, Updated 33 minutes ago
(news photo)

In criticizing opponents of the fee, Jonathan Nicholas, vice president of ODS, said that not building the bridge would have a larger impact on job and income growth of local companies.
“There are those, and they may be legion, who fail to grasp the importance of the task at hand, crippled by self-interest, they threaten those they most profess (to protect),” Nicholas said.
County staff saw their $22 million pledge as fair, since Multnomah County residents started paying an extra $19 fee last year for their $127 million share of the bridge costs.
A toll is still in consideration as a long-term funding source, but the counties see a need to close the funding gap for construction costs in a short amount of time to receive matching funds from the federal government.
“It plays a vital role not only for commuters, but also for tourists, for businesses that are located in Clackamas County, so it’s a fundamentally important structure for the county,” said Cam Gilmour, county transportation director.
The structure has become so degraded that TriMet buses and heavy trucks are banned from traversing it, so engineers hope to begin construction by 2013.
When the state Legislature passed the Jobs and Transportation Act in 2009, it allowed the commission to enact a fee for county residents without a public vote, specifically for the construction of the bridge.
“It is not unreasonable at this point in the game, because nobody has the money for a big project like this, to pool resources together, especially when we are so dependent on this bridge,” said County Chair Lynn Peterson. “While it’s a good step forward, we’re going to have to look to the long-term to figure out how we’re going to pay for our public good.”

Portland’s economy a drag on Clark County

Sure to incense some south of us, an article from Wednesdays’ Columbian states, “A report released Tuesday suggests that Portland’s economy has not kept pace with comparable cities, and that our neighbor to the south may be dragging Clark County down.”

“Portland’s economic shortcomings have influenced Clark County since the 1980s, and more recently, Portland’s economy has worsened Clark County’s high unemployment rate, said Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department.”

Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon said, “My sense is that if you’re going to view Clark County as essentially a bedroom community, they’re going to be very dependent on the job market in Portland. Portland workers who reside in Clark County are more at risk for job cuts.”

Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department adds, “Unemployment claims filed by Clark County residents because they lost a job in another state have grown substantially faster than regular claims since the beginning of the recession.”

Clark County’s unemployment remains at 13%.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mr. Why: Opposition Mounts to Milwaukie Light Rail;Tri Met Fast Tracks No Bid Contract to Thwart Them

by Mr. Why

Clackamas County’s hearing room will be packed with opponents to the Milwaukie extension of light rail both today from 5:30-7pm and tomorrow. But as opposition mounts Tri Met also meets today to connive a way to build a light rail bridge with money they don’t have while cheerleading a new tax for car owners for a Sellwood Bridge fix. The point is: there’s always money “found” for light rail while holding hostage the fixes to the broken down Sellwood Bridge for use by cars. The fix is in and here’s how it’s going down. Buckle up your seat belt.
TriMet will authorize the selling of $722 million in bonds and a NO BID contract for the Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge. It will go down in infamy as the largest single day misappropriation for the most ill conceived project in Oregon history. 

Here’s the agenda for today’s meeting. 

NO BID CONTRACT
“Resolution 10-12-65 Authorizing a Contract with Kiewit Infrastructure West, Inc. for Design-Build Services for the Willamette River Bridge Segment of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project “

As one observer notes:

“Note that they’ve super sized the bond debt since last month: $159 million in capital grant receipt bonds (to be paid back through regional flex funds); $63 million (not the previously claimed $40 or even the “amended” $40-60 million) in payroll tax-backed bonds; and $500 million in revenue bonds (hopefully paid back from FTA grants).”

In meantime they’ll stick it to car owners for a $40 car tax to supposedly help with fixes to the Sellwood Bridge. But that’s just what they want you to think. In fact, that money will help free up money for light rail. After the hearing on the issue November 24th, Clackamas County Commissioner Barnard acknowledged the bridge would get built without Clackamas County’s $22 million. A task that would be much easier if Metro’s $178 million in flex funds intended for Milwaukie Light Rail was re-allocated to the bridge. Instead Sam Adams intends on re-allocating $20 million from the Sellwood bridge to Milwaukie Light Rail. No wonder they want Clackamas County’s $22 million for the bridge. It’s a despicable shell game.
Tri Met and the Clackamas County Commission are conspiring to thwart the will of most of Clackamas County and issue a NO BID contract to build a bridge for light rail to a place NOBODY wants and stick the taxpayers with the bill. As the Clackamas County Review observed from the November 24th meeting, 

At least at the hearing last week, few were persuaded by county officials’ arguments for the toll.
Leonard Nixon, 72, drove up all the way from between Colton and Molalla with his friend Joe Davis.
“What this is is a foot in the door for more taxes and fees,” Nixon said. “Once government gets one of these taxes or fees started, they never let it go.With over 10 percent unemployment, people have a responsibility to become involved in making government agencies think outside the box to not hurt average people.”

He’s right, of course. But Tri Met and now the Clackamas County Commission don’t care about the taxpayers.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com






November 24, Board Of County Commisoners hearing on the Sellwood bridge 

at 41:45 is Portlander Jonathan Nicholas’ lecture.
He was among the invited testimony.
Take note of his finish when he tells the comissioners they have the support of people of Clackamas County.


Revenue from this new, County-only Vehicle Registration Fee (which comes on top of State vehicle registration fees you pay every other year) could be used to pay for the Commissioners’ $22 million donation they have pledged to the Sellwood Bridge project and for other special projects within the county and the cities (a full report can be found in the NW Connection, October 2010 issue.  

—–Original Message—–
From: stevescare@aol.com
Sent: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 6:14 pm
Subject: Ask Jonathan? Should you pay for this bridge?


Regarding the Sellwood Bridge story below.
No one was more insulting in the hearing than Jonathan Nicholas. His condescending assertion that the new fee and county’s $22 million share of the bridge was best for the
people of Clackamas County was delivered with the kind of pompous speak that impressed no one. 
 

From story below:
“In criticizing opponents of the fee, Jonathan Nicholas, vice president of ODS, said that not building the bridge would have a larger impact on job and income growth of local companies. “There are those, and they may be legion, who fail to grasp the importance of the task at hand, crippled by self-interest, they threaten those they most profess (to protect),” Nicholas said.”
  
The dispute is not over building or not building the bridge. Despite Nicholas’ and the Commission’s attempt to manipulate the debate. 

So who was that Jonathan Nicholas from ODS? Just a concerned Clackamas County Business guy? Not hardly.  
I immediately recognized Nicholas as the left wing Oregonian columnist/bike zealot who advocates converting the City of Portland into a Bike Mecca. In addition to his long time support and advocacy for things TriMet/Metro and the City of Portland. In fact Nicholas would prefer an even more extreme version of the Portland agenda. 
He might as well have been Rex Burkholder, Earl Blumenauer or Sam Adams offering advise for Clackamas County. 
   
It’s no wonder he showed up at the BCC hearing. He is the perfect guy to deliver the Portland agenda.   
Just what Peterson and the board wanted and probably arranged. 
  
And what a perfect demonstration of Peterson’s allegiance to and advocacy for that Portland agenda.
Google and you’ll find plenty of Jonathan Nicholas. 
Here’s a quick sample.  
“Jonathan Nicholas, Vice President of the ODS Companies and chair of the Metro Executive Council for Active Transportation, testifies in support of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030”

Hey Jonathan, Keep Portland Weird.
But keep it in Portland. 
I’m pretty sure the Commissioners will get that same message on Dec 9th.

Should you pay for this bridge?

Residents pack Clackamas County hearing room to protest a new $5 vehicle registration fee increase proposed to fund the 85-year-old Sellwood Bridge

By Raymond Rendleman
The Clackamas Review, Nov 30, 2010, Updated 33 minutes ago
(news photo)

In criticizing opponents of the fee, Jonathan Nicholas, vice president of ODS, said that not building the bridge would have a larger impact on job and income growth of local companies.
“There are those, and they may be legion, who fail to grasp the importance of the task at hand, crippled by self-interest, they threaten those they most profess (to protect),” Nicholas said.
County staff saw their $22 million pledge as fair, since Multnomah County residents started paying an extra $19 fee last year for their $127 million share of the bridge costs.
A toll is still in consideration as a long-term funding source, but the counties see a need to close the funding gap for construction costs in a short amount of time to receive matching funds from the federal government.
“It plays a vital role not only for commuters, but also for tourists, for businesses that are located in Clackamas County, so it’s a fundamentally important structure for the county,” said Cam Gilmour, county transportation director.
The structure has become so degraded that TriMet buses and heavy trucks are banned from traversing it, so engineers hope to begin construction by 2013.
When the state Legislature passed the Jobs and Transportation Act in 2009, it allowed the commission to enact a fee for county residents without a public vote, specifically for the construction of the bridge.
“It is not unreasonable at this point in the game, because nobody has the money for a big project like this, to pool resources together, especially when we are so dependent on this bridge,” said County Chair Lynn Peterson. “While it’s a good step forward, we’re going to have to look to the long-term to figure out how we’re going to pay for our public good.”

Vancouver Pays Homage to the Memory of the Pearl Harbor Attack

It was 69 years ago today, December 7, 1941, young sailors and soldiers waking to another Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor Hawaii were suddenly and brutally thrust into the war that would become the bloodiest conflict the world has ever seen, World War Two.

For nearly two hours, waves of Japanese aircraft flew in, dropping bombs, torpedoes and strafing airfields and ships moored in the harbor in an effort to cripple the American Naval Pacific Fleet and prevent our Navy from influencing the war that the Japanese was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands and the U.S. in the Philippines.

“Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.”

While the surprise attack was an initial success, it ultimately proved to be a deadly miscalculation for the Japanese that was reportedly noted immediately after the sneak attack by Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

While the quote itself is called into question, the ultimate outcome and somberness of the words are now a historical fact.

69 years later, the city of Vancouver once again gathered on this day to pay homage to those who are still entombed in the rusting hulks of ships still sitting beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor and give respects to the handful of men still living who endured the attack that day and who fought back against the tyranny of the then Japanese government and after defeating them, guide them back to being viable and welcome allies.

Even as a Veteran myself, I can only imagine the untold horror those men experienced that day. They were the same age I was when I served in the Viet Nam War, but I knew I was being sent into a War. They woke up to a massive wave of enemy aircraft attacking instead of the expected peaceful Sunday.

From the tearful admonition of Vancouver’s Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Vice-President Hal Lacey hoping such an attack never happens again to the emotional rendition of God Bless America, sang by Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds, the hour and a half of ceremonies was in appreciation for what these aging men endured.

Retired Navy Commander Larry Commander served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing those survivors who were attendance and guest speakers who included Vancouver Mayor, Tim Leavitt, who although never served in the Military paid deep respects to those who died and those who survived to fight back.

Gene Cole, from Portland’s Chapter #1 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gave a short speech, recalling his own actions that fateful morning and the actions of those he saw fall around him.

A young sailor currently serving as the U.S. Navy Recruiter in the Vancouver area, whose name escapes me, paid his respects and recited the sailor’s creed,

“I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.”

Who better in our history has shown that than those men who endured that fateful day?

Earlier years saw a placing of a wreath into the Columbia River, but as this year’s ceremony was held indoors at E.B. Hamilton Hall, in the Historic Fort Vancouver, aging survivors dressed in uniforms and association colors stood and hung it from the front of the speakers’ lectern.

Aging men who will be lucky to see another commemoration, assisted by walkers and canes, some struggling even to stand, proudly walked up to pay their own homage to fellow shipmates who never returned.

Speaking with these men prior to the opening ceremony filled me with awe of what they endured, what they accomplished and the deep memories each has of that day and the rest of the war.

Older and bent over today, some with graying or balding hair, long widowers, once they were the young warriors and sailors who paid the price that my generation and successive generations remained a free people.

We owe these men a debt of gratitude impossible to repay. We can never give back what they lost that day and I imagine none would accept it if we could, knowing the price had to be paid to remain free.

To a man they are true patriots and Americans, proud of their country, shipmates and fellow Veterans.

As Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds so eloquently sang, “God Bless America.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com