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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Overmaking a point

Seen this afternoon at The Original Pancake House: A guy wearing a Ronald Reagan t-shirt with a McCain/Palin button pinned to it, and carrying a copy of Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative.

I resisted the temptation to walk over to him and say: “Dude…you’re trying too hard.”

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New Yelp! Reviews

I have two new reviews on Yelp!:

Glowing Greens in Downtown

Bluefin Sushi Bar in Hollywood

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A satisfying lunch

The best, best, best, best, bestest thing about having my weekdays off work this week is that I can eat at Pine State Biscuits without waiting in line for an hour.

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As an undergraduate, I took two runs at Plato’s Republic, neither notably successful. I am sure I know where to find the paper I wrote about it, and equally sure I would rather leave it where I have lain it.

Thanks to the fine folks at Multnomah County Library (full disclosure: I work for MCL, which is how I know they are fine folks), I will be taking a third run at it over the next month. MCL is sponsoring a “Read the Classics” program, which offers 24 discussions in six different series. You can sign up (for free!) for any individual discussion, as long as you think to sign up before 25 other people do (enrollment is capped).

I look forward to the chance to re-engage the Republic, and I might post about it here as I go.

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One positive to riding home this evening on a packed, slow-moving TriMet bus in 102-degree heat while wearing pants and a long-sleeved shirt: When I got home, weeding the shaded side yard in 90-to-95-degree heat for an hour and a half seemed like a vacation.

Was that one positive worth it? I’m not saying that. I wouldn’t say that. But you’ve got to find the good where you can sometimes.

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Keeping Portland weird

One of the entertaining side effects of getting older is that I sometimes mishear things in amusing ways.

I could swear that I heard someone say “strange is in the air” (as opposed to the usual “change is in the air”).

What a lovely slogan for Stumptown that would be! “It’s springtime in Portland and strange is in the air!”

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New Yelp! review

I have one new review on Yelp!:

Laughing Planet Cafe in Belmont

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Weighty matters

I lived in Houston, the “fattest city in America”, for five years, and left three pounds lighter than when I arrived.

I have now lived in Portland, one of the “fittest cities in America”, for three years, and have gained 28 pounds.

The biggest difference I have experienced between the two cities is that in Houston there was never a season when I could not go outside and exercise. Even at the height of summer, all I had to do was wait until 8:00, and go out then. In Portland, on the other hand, it is reliably miserable outside for five or six months of the year, and I have allergies during most of the nice months.

So, my task between now and mid-October (when the gray seeps back in) is to keep popping the Zyrtec, develop good exercise habits again, and figure out what clothing or other accessories would help me continue to get out during the rainy season.

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