Archive for the ‘Portland’ Category

Oregon State Measure 60: No. School districts should be allowed discretion in determing what policies are best for their students.

Oregon State Measure 61: No. Judges should be allowed discretion in determining sentencing for crimes.

Oregon State Measure 62: No. Lottery proceeds currently fund job creation, economic development, and education. Funding those kinds of activities reduces the need to spend money on police and prosecutors.

Oregon State Measure 63: No. Are the proponents of this measure serious?

Oregon State Measure 64: No. Union-baiting.

Oregon State Measure 65: No. Each party should be able to have a candidate on the final ballot. Should we really be looking to Louisiana for political innovations?


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Oregon State Measure 54: Yes. A little bit of Constitutional clean-up that I’m glad we’re doing.

Oregon State Measure 55: No. Is pretending that the old district lines are still in force any less confusing a way to deal with redistricting than the current way?

Oregon State Measure 56: Yes. Living in a democracy has its responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is voting. People who can’t be bothered to fulfill their responsibilities should not be given veto power over everyone else.

Oregon State Measure 57: No. Judges should be allowed discretion in determining sentencing for crimes. (Besides which, why does Oregon dictate minimum sentencing in our Constitution?)

Oregon State Measure 58: No. School districts should be allowed discretion in determing what policies are best for their students.

Oregon State Measure 59: No. An unlimited tax deduction for federal taxes is special pleading for the wealthy. If we’re going to give a tax deduction for anything new (and we shouldn’t), then why not expenses for food and medicine?

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Oregon Secretary of State: Kate Brown (D). By default. Her two opponents are, respectively, an amateur and a naïf.

Oregon State Treasurer: Ben Westlund (D). Westlund’s opponent, Allen Alley, touts his business experience, but when I look at how his company, Pixelworks, was doing when he resigned as CEO—the stock price was down 80% over his last two years and has continued to fall steadily since—I don’t feel much confidence.

Oregon Attorney General: John R. Kroger (D/R). By default. His three opponents are, respectively, too young, too old, and too fringe.

Oregon State Senator, 21st District: Diane Rosenbaum (D). She is running unopposed and has always struck me as highly competent.

Oregon State Representative, 42nd District: Jules Kopel-Bailey (D). He seems to have relevant experience and looks like a promising political prospect. Plus, the dude lives five blocks from my house.

Oregon Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries: Brad Avakian. By default.

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The Republicans deserve the broom.

United States President: Barack Obama (D)

United States Senate: Jeff Merkley (D)

United States Representative, 3rd District: Earl Blumenauer (D)

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Seen in Portland

A man in his late 50s or early 60s, sitting with stocking feet on a rocking chair on the porch of a Craftsman house on Southeast Salmon Street on a cool late-summer evening.

A traditional American scene, like something out of Norman Rockwell.

Except for how intently he was texting on his cell phone.

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The east side of Portland is littered with ugly two-story apartment buildings of early ’60s vintage. If you live in Portland, you know what I’m talking about: The long, low bricks; the rusted metal stairs; the fading pale paint; the ratty parking lot; the juniper bushes.

So some developer bought the interchangeable ugly apartment block at Southeast 29th and Salmon, slapped some new siding on it, put in new doors, and is selling the apartments as condos for $185,000 a pop.

I wonder if anyone will buy?

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Fire down the road

Few things are as bracing as leaving work in the evening, looking into the distance, and noticing a pillar of thick black smoke rising from the street you live on.

Fortunately for me, the fire was about two miles down the street from my house. And the wind was blowing south instead of east (sorry, Sellwood!).

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