Daily Archives: October 12, 2011

Occupiers Consider Sam Adams’s Generous Offer to Let Them Decide Whether to Open Main Street.

Sad but TRUE! RT @ttgannett: For popular movements, perception is reality. If #occupyportland doesn’t open the street, its over.

#OccupyPortland you will retain more community support if you give up Main St than if it’s taken from you by force.

“@KATUNews: Sam Adams tells #OccupyPortland to open Main Street now, protesters instead keep it blocked. // Time to throw people in JAIL!!!

#OccupyPortland Stops truck in street http://t.co/fmWP3C5g

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Largest Recipient of CRC Funds Sues to Keep Financial Records Secret

An interesting development in the ongoing “transparent and open” process of the Columbia River Crossing Project, responsible for so far swallowing up some $140 Million in “studies” for a new I-5 Bridge to run Portland’s Light Rail into Vancouver, wanted by taxpayers or not.

David Evans and Associates, so far the single largest recipient of funds from the CRC, accepting more than $30 Million so far, answered a notice from WashDOT over their intent to comply with a FOIA request for financial records with a lawsuit quietly filed in Thurston County to block release of their records on file with WashDOT here.

The records request was part of an ongoing private audit of the CRC finances funded by successful Vancouver businessman David Madore. Tiffany Couch, the forensic auditor hired by Mr. Madore says, “the request for the Evans financials was one of series of records requests she’s filed.”

She continued, “We have been asked to perform a review of how public money has been spent on the CRC project; starting from the bidding process when the project began in 2005 through present day expenditures.”

Also named in the lawsuit as defendant is Debbie Peterson who works for Ms. Couch and who filed the actual request with WashDOT.

In a comment left on facebook, David Madore said, “Nancy Boyd, director of the CRC uses words like transparency and accountability and then goes on to say that because state law does not force them to provide financial statements, that she will not provide them.”

This move begs the question, just what does David Evans & Associates have to fear from transparency in why they were paid over $30 Million of taxpayer monies?

It’s time this fiasco was brought to a screeching halt and our federal representatives from both states bring in federal investigators with prosecutions in mind for any wrongdoing.

If Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Portland or Occupy Vancouver really need a cause to protest, maybe they should be protesting the Columbia River Crossing and David Evans & Associates.

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Vancouver City Council Slights County on Biomass Plant, But Expects Forgiveness of $4.4 Million Debt

I can’t say that I’m a fan of building a Biomass Power Plant west of downtown Vancouver, but watching this scenario unfold is almost comical.

At Mondays City Council meeting, Leavitt and the council passed a 6-month moratorium “on development in the downtown zone where the county and its private partner, Schneider Electric, want to locate a biomass electricity generating plant.”

The moratorium caught everybody by surprise as it is the first anybody had heard of it in the back and forth over the county wanting to build the plant in Vancouver and city officials opposing it. Such a move effectively shuts down the idea of the plant.

Leavitt is quoted, “It’s my understanding that our city center vision is to transition away from industrial uses.”

Strangely enough, Tuesday evening we read, Vancouver wants county to forgive $4.4 million Hilton debt.

Although “no formal debt relief proposal exists for commissioners to consider,” according to Clark County Administrator Bill Barron, Commissioner Tom Mielke said “Vancouver city officials want the county to forgive $4.4 million in debt related to the Hilton [in downtown] Vancouver.” The revelation came as Commissioner Mielke was expressing his disappointment with the city passing the moratorium to kill the county’s biomass project.

According to the Columbian,

“At issue is a growing debt linked to an agreement made when plans for the city-owned, privately operated hotel and convention center at Sixth and Columbia streets were first formed.”

“Under terms of legislation signed into law in 1999, the state gives Vancouver and Clark County a tiny piece of sales taxes collected inside their borders to help pay for convention centers and other large projects. The county formed a public facility district to build the Clark County Events Center at the Fairgrounds; the city formed a public facility district to build the Hilton.”

“The county, in 2003, voted to give most of its sales tax credits to the convention center, with the understanding that the city would eventually pay the county back.”

“As of Sept. 30, the city’s public facilities district owed the county $4.4 million. That amount accumulates at a rate of $45,000 to $60,000 a month, with an interest rate of 5.64 percent, Vancouver Chief Financial Officer Lloyd Tyler said.”

The Hilton has been a money pit for taxpayers since its inception, leaving us on the hook for paying for it while the economy continues to decline and as the union representing workers at the Hilton are now demanding wage and benefit increases as well.

Commissioner Stuart remain in New Orleans at a transportation convention, looking over the latest in electric trains and seeing new creative ways to soak taxpayers some more for light rail, but both commissioners Mielke and Boldt have indicated the city can forget any debt forgiveness.

I can’t help but wonder if this was Leavitt’s plan all along. Pass the moratorium, approach the county for a forgiveness of the debt, then when commissioner’s balk, as they have, wait a short bit and offer to repeal the moratorium in exchange for the debt forgiveness.

Regardless of that thought, as both the Hilton Convention Center and the Amphitheater at the Clark County Fairgrounds continue to be a drain on taxes, why would any of the elected people even consider putting taxpayers on the hook for a new baseball stadium to house the Yakima Bears?

Once again we see the results of starry eyed elected officer holders who continue to thumb their noses at taxpayers as they wheel and deal with our tax dollars, wasting Millions of Dollars and having to request federal grants just to keep a firehouse open, not to mention pouring Millions of Dollars into a waterfront project, granting a $1 Million property tax abatement to a Millionaire developer, and preparing to leave us stuck owing Billions in taxes and tolls to pay for a new I-5 bridge to extend Portland’s Light Rail to Vancouver, even though voters have 3 times indicated we do not want it.

No county commissioners are up for reelection and I don’t have a vote in the city council races, living outside the city limits, but those of you who do, well, I hope you know what you should do.

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Part-Time Occupiers to Descend on Vancouver, Washington

I guess better late than never, an “Occupy Vancouver” event is planned to be held in Esther Short Park this Saturday, October 15, 2011. Unlike other “Occupations” around the country, supposedly showing their disdain for something, passing out free condoms, not bathing and being a general nuisance, “Occupy Vancouver” is slated to be held from noon to 3PM.

The facebook page for this part-time protest states, “Join together with your fellow citizens to show this nation that we are aware of the injustices, and that we will peacefully assemble in solidarity with the International Day of Occupation on October 15th.”

“This is NOT a movement against authority, this is NOT a movement against police, this IS a peaceful movement of awareness!”

“Thanks for your support! Come voice your ideas, we have three proposed general assembly meetings over the coming days to talk about the event next weekend, and to listen to the public before the event. Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th, both at 2pm at Esther Short Park near the center band-shell. And also, Wednesday the 12th at 6pm, same location.”

Apparently they already started their occupation and since we all missed it, they plan to do it again.

Odd how it isn’t a “movement against anything,” but “awareness.” Awareness of what? Your guess is as good as mine.

Curious to find the comment below from the Columbian’s Cami Joner, interested in covering the event and reaching out to the part-time malcontents.

How many Tea Party events and other conservative rallies have just been ignored by the Columbian? Oh sure, they have covered a couple, but by and large, they like to bury their heads in their collective print and ignore such things, just as they did for the Bridging the Gaps II event this past weekend.

Many participating in the various “ocuppy’s” around the country don’t have a clue just what it is they want, they just protest, following along blindly with whoever steps and begins speaking, as long as they speak against conservatism and private enterprise.

It’s little wonder the socialist Democrats from D.C. have come out in support of these malcontents, while each of them rests comfortably in their luxurious mansions, fly around the globe on our money, ride in chauffer driven limousines and SUV’s all while complaining about corporate CEO’s being greedy.

“I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who recently increased her wealth by 63%.

“We realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy,” said Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founders, Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen who sold their interests in the company for $326 Million.

Unlike other areas where protesters have opted for illegally camping out, defying laws and not bathing, Vancouver’s quasi-malcontents will assemble in Esther Short Park, listen to whoever steps up to tell them how wrong it all is in America, while they use corporate made iPads, iPods and cell phones, subscribed through corporate wireless services, will drive to the town center in their corporate made vehicles, even in a corporate made bus, many wearing corporate made designer clothes to hear someone badmouth corporations.

Then, they will climb back in their corporate made vehicles, drive back to their corporate made homes filled with corporate made furniture, corporate made furnaces for warmth, take a nice warm shower in a corporate made shower heated by a corporate made water heater, sign on to their corporate made computers linked to the internet through corporate internet services to boast to all of the facebook buddies that they made a difference for a couple hours by chanting “hey hey, ho ho, blah, blah, blah.”

In the meantime, they raise the blinders to Major Leavitt and city council, the county commissioners and the C-Tran board ramming corporate made light rail down their throats, ignoring past votes against it and not even allowing another vote of the people to determine if we even want it.

Some people just have their priorities all fouled up!

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Worse Than Solyndra

H/T 5th Listener Marc.
What company got two times the loan guarantees as Solyndra, was touted by a lawmaker whose son was a lobbyist for the firm, announced plans to build the subsidized plant out of the country before the loan, got Obama money the last second before the program ended, was bought out —and big shots cashed out—a mere two weeks after that by a foreign company and is so financially rickety that it likely will go under?
Obama’s Venture Socialism strikes again. Here.

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Anarchist Crowd Populates Occupaid Portland

When They’re Not Vandalizing OPP, They’re “Loving” Anarchists. Good to Know.

As you can read in the nearby post, I strolled through Occupy Portland tonight. Popular among the signs is this one. See that circle surrounding the A? That A stands for “Anarchy.” Black block is living off the grid (helped by taxpayers, ugh…) at Occupy Portland.
Will the last laugh be on Portland taxpayers? Again?

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PDX Mayor Adams Has Block on What To Do About Protesters

MAIN ST BETWEEN 3rd & 4th STILL ILLEGALLY BLOCKED BY ILLEGALLY CAMPING PROTESTERS
I went by Occupy Portland again tonight. Smells of tobacco, cart food, and sounds of a drum circle filled the air. A spotlight jury rigged onto a street lamp illuminated the blocked Main street between third and fourth where dozens of protesters awaited a message from the non-leader-leader of the general assembly who spoke through a microphone powered by–uh, something. KOIN 6 previously had reported that our our anti-greed protesters had been greedily and illegally consuming stolen electricity from electric car charging stations until supposedly the city cut them off. Nobody had shut off anything that I could see. The microphone and spot light were powered by something. And the street they were filling was supposed to have been emptied of protesters and opened to the commuters by today sometime. 
Which brings us to the problem: Sam. He can’t say no to the left. He just doesn’t know what to do when dreadlocked, tatted, pierced anarchists (see nearby 

post) are vewy, vewy unhappy with him. But, Sam, seriously we need to have someone take a firm hand here. Trust me, these guys don’t think you’re “the man.” Honestly. They think you’re a eunuch. We want you to man-up and get these yippies outta here. 
However that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. I mean, listen to their logic. My producer Eric asked this question yesterday based on Rees Lloyd’s piece on the blog yesterday which you can find (here). 
Amy, I was asked to forward this question to you: Did the city open up a legal can of worms by allowing the Occupy Portland group to march in street, camp overnight in parks etc without the proper permits? If another group wanted to do the same thing but had a different political platform than the Mayor and they weren’t allowed to march or camp without permits could it be considered discrimination? Thanks 
The CITY ATTORNEY had no answer and lateraled it over to Sam’s office! He’s not an attorney in case anyone hasn’t noticed. So Eric gamely sent the same email over to Sam’s spokeswoman, Amy Ruiz. She responded:

We’re not getting into “what ifs” as it relates to Occupy Portland or other protests. The Mayor is monitoring the situation, and making day to day decisions based on current information. His goals are to respect people’s right to peacefully protest, while also keeping the city working.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Ruiz Communications Director Office of Mayor Sam Adams City of Portland 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 340 Portland, OR 97204 Phone: 503-823-4799

Here’s Rees’ reaction to that response:

I am at once appalled and amused at the cavalier, to-hell-with-you-peasants response that you and Eric Peterson received from the City to your inquiry of how the City can do for the latter-day hippies, yippies, and self-righteous narcissists purporting to “Occupy Portland,” what it manifestly has not done in regard to the Tea Party patriots or others. It is fundamental First Amendment law that a city can regulate time, place, and manner of demonstrations and other First Amendment expressive acts. But it must apply the law equally. It cannot under any circumstance based its actions on the “content” of the expressive activity. 


All the talk about the “peaceful” nature of the self-proclaimed “Occupiers” is naught but dross: The law was broken when the Occupiers of Portland publicly refused to even seek a permit. Period. 


The constitutional reality the liberal “progressive” Mayor Sam Adams and members of the Portland Commission have established a dangerous precedent, and have done so knowingly. What they do for Occupied Portland liberal progressive totalitarians, including allowing them to act at all, peacefully or otherwise, without a permit, establishes a precedent and policy which must be equally applied under the Equal Protection. Clause  to the KKK, New Black Panther Party, the Islamist  jihadists, etc., et al.


The attempt of the city’s agents to dodge and evade answering your direct questions, i.e., “we don’t address hypotheticals,”  is proof of their knowledge of the dangerous precedent they have established,  proof of their lack of integrity, and evidence of the  of totalitarian streak at the essence of liberal “progressivism.”  

Rees

Oh, Portland, I’ve got more bad news. The protest camp site has grown. Now it’s two blocks long. Good job, Sam. 

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