Sunday, January 31, 2010


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Making of Filmed By Bike

Neighbor Mike was hard at work on a short film for this year's Filmed By Bike. His movie Claire Rides a Bike was a hit and this year's epic saga of kids being slingshotted down a neighborhood sidewalk promises to be fun if it's half as much fun as watching it get made.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Portland Hotel Recommendations

I got a request for recommendations, so I thought I would blog my response which I thought was well reasoned and hip :)

The Ace Hotel is very cool and right in the middle of everything downtown. Very eclectic and fun. The Jupiter Hotel is across the river and the hippest hotel in town.

McMenamins operates several hotels that are reclaimed from previous uses (poor farm, school building, etc) and all have breweries included in the same building. They feature options for European style lodging and would be less expensive (shared bathrooms are an option).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Great Transportation Blog has a great posting on how citizens can fight a DOT over issues they are passionate about.

We Provide Water for Inmates, but not our Kindergarten Classes

I attended a Portland Public School Board’s Finance, Audit & Operations Committee meeting today. They went through a long discussion about future population at schools and the concepts of how the district might address these issues. Llewellyn is set to recieve a portable for two classrooms to ease overcrowding associated with the booming population of kids in the neighborhood.

I asked whether costs associated with the buildings could be revisited to address what I believed was a need for water in these "temporary" structures. They have water in jail cells, but I guess we can't get one spicket for the kids in their classrooms.

I have not been involved in these matters and don't appreciate the challenges of the PPS budget, but I offered the following ideas for reducing estimated costs. First, I think the costs estimated are high for the current state of the economy. Contractors in the housing sector have been hurt and there are a lot of folks that would work for less than two years ago. Second, the costs for Systems Development Charges from the City may be reduced with a clever argument that schools like Llewellyn have a higher mode split due to the Safe Routes to Schools programs and further encouragement of students riding their bikes. My daughter and our neighbors do just that and this could be another way to communicate the importance of riding bicycles to the school. That might offer $5,000 savings in SDCs, perhaps higher. Finally, by considering the use of architects that are currently out of work (we have several in our neighborhood), the District might find some ways to deliver a better project by having someone vested in the project involved.

The costs associated with running a water line to the portable is low considering that you have to trench to run fiber optic cable to the building from the existing and piping for water could use the same trench. City fees/charges associated with the new water line would be minimal because it is a water line from the existing service.

Perhaps this sort of creative cost savings could address the issue of providing water for the children in the building or be used in other parts of the district to improve accessibility.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Jr. Day of Service - Canvassing to Support Schools

I don't often go all political on things, but I couldn't resist on this one. There's a ballot measure in Oregon that's attempting to raise funds for schools and other services in this difficult time for our country. The measure seems to be asking some to sacrifice.

Phil Knight is against this measure because of the costs to small business. He states in the Oregonian : "Forty-six years ago, when Mark Hatfield was governor, I started a small business in Oregon. In our first year, sales totaled $8,000. I am proud that it eventually became a major employer in the state. It has been my hope that other entrepreneurs would similarly pursue their dreams in Oregon. --- They won't. Measures 66 and 67 should be labeled Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law II.

Really Phil? You wouldn't have started your company because the state was asking you to pay $150 instead of $10? You wouldn't have followed your dreams for an extra 50 cents a day. Even back in 1973 when you started your business, it seems to me that it wouldn't have killed your drive to succeed. Perhaps it might have saved us from you.

Thanks for giving me the inspiration to stop buying Nike stuff. I needed one more reason to buy local and to consume less. I appreciate your encouragement for me to meet my goals.

So I hit the streets of Northeast Portland today in support of Yes on 66 & 67 with a little more bounce in my step, a little more dedication, and a little more purpose. I just did it. I could of passed on that last house, but I talked to a guy that seemed to be on the fence on the issue and hopefully I turned him to a Yes. Thanks Phil!