Archive for December, 2004

Red, Black, Mu-zak

I decided that I had to see the Cliche Au Lait show downtown at Backspace tonight a while back, but wanted to take a friend. So I calleed Dani, and we elected to go to the show. HOWEVER, a friend of Dani’s was playing at Red and Black Cafe and so here we are, surfing the internet with Linux and Free Geek.

Note: Red and Black Chai sucks.

KGW reports Man Shot Downtown

KGW (reg. required) reports that police arrested a 56 year old man today after he shot a 41 year old man. No names released, but the two were arguing when the suspect pulled a gun and shot the other guy.

Some people said they thought the victim was asking for money, but KGW reports Sgt. Brian Schmautz saying, “I have no information from detectives that would indicate that this incident involves aggressive panhandling.”

Maria Hoover, a waitress at the store, said she was upset that kids wanting to see Santa Claus at the Meier & Frank would have to step outside the doors and walk past a crime scene. ìThey have to be surrounded by this? What kind of Christmas spirit is that?î Hoover said.

UPDATE: Portland Police Bureau posts a notice about the shooting.

You Heard It Here First

Conduit, the dance company, will be closing. Now, the details I have a really sketchy beyond that, so I’ll have to leave you now and interrogate my source about it over dinner. Because that’s what I’m doing right now. Note: This is my second post made in a hurry. PS: Lunch with Mike was a blast, but along with Conduit, that will have to wait for a writeup.

Make it quick, Erik…

This will have to be quick, due to the fact that I’m supposed to be meeting Mike for lunch at 3 Lions, which is a few doors down from Backspace where I am now. Anyways, both our PDC (I keep wanting to type PDX) comissioner, Dan Salzman and Erik Sten (of indeterminate position within the PDX [damit…]) have assured me that the decision process will be slowed until at least Feb, in order to give us, the citizens, more time to comment.

Shit, while I’m down here I might just stop by the PDC (HA!) and say something to them.

It’s lunchtime now.

How To Get Even With Target

To me, there’s no valid reason for Target to prohibit Salvation Army bellringers from their stores. We’re talking about one little bell amidst all the noise of crying babies, ceaseless p.a. announcements, and unlistenable, loud musical tracks coming from clothing and recorded music areas.

One bell. And outside, not even inside, at that.

It’s a national prohibition, but applies, of course, to the Target stores in the Portland area.

Let’s do the math. The Salvation Army estimates that in previous years, their Red Kettlers stationed outside Target averaged between $500 and $1,000 a day. So let us meet them halfway and say $750 per store, per day. There are seven Target Stores in the tri-county area. That’s $5,250 a day. Multiply that by 28 shopping days from Friday after Thanksgiving up until Christmas Eve. Round that off to approximately $150,000 in missed donations.

How many mattresses for homeless shelters? How many meals? How much clothing? How much help with utility bills, which are rising all the time?

If you think I sound pissed, you are right.

OK, here’s how to fix things.

First, let those of us who choose to, make a donation to the Salvation Army. Here’s a link to their online donation form.

Here in Portland, Target’s main competitors are Fred Meyer and yes, Wal-Mart. I’ve seen the Red Kettler’s around both. So, here’s a link to the Wal-Mart store finder function. And the same for Freddy’s.

Bix Bog or Portland?

I think the choice is really between staying Portland, and giving into the Big Box urge. Now, I understand (in a vague way) why it might seen as being necessary to have a large store anchor a development. By the same token, however, it’s completely worthwhile to work it backwards.

Instead of anchoring an area with a large store, think of it the other way. Build the area up around where the big box would have gone, and use the space where the Lowe’s or Home Depot would be to ferment the growth of small businesses and artists. Sure, it’s just a reworking of Lisa’s views on the matter, but I do happen to believe in what she’s saying.

What’s another reason we should be against this? It violates Dave Sucher’s guidelines for an “Urban Village”. This is another paradigm I happen to agree with, more because David convinced me of it through his book (which I got a free copy of, disclaimer, disclaimer) and his blog (which I read free, disclaimer, disclaimer) than through any independent formulation of views.

How does this tie into City Comforts? Becuase one of David’s three tenets of building an urban village is that it must be built to the street, and I don’t trust a “big box” to do so. Putting a suburban store like this in the middle of the city will make me sad, and destroy any chances of making it a livable area.

However, if the PDC is willing to, we could concievably make yet another 23rd Ave, or Hawthorne district (or Belmont, or Freemont, or whatever up-and-coming neighborhood you feel that I’ve left out, but shame, this is my blog not yours) or Perl District, because it’s an *area* being redeveloped, not any one street.

Lesson Learned

With only four days to Christmas I am just starting my shopping. I can afford to wait this long because I shop smart (online!). But today, while ordering up my last minute gifts, died on me! The whole site… kaput!

This is frustrating. And perhaps a sign I should just walk over to Powell’s to get those books.

A Brief Thought

Let’s have a little discussion.

Considering how much time we Oregonians spend on the road, how would you feel about highway taxes? I’d be willing to pay for it, for a few reasons.

At heart, what it would be would be paying for the damage that I cause the roads.
A secondary effect would be overall a lowering of driving, which is what all of our assorted driving taxes are shooting for (parking money, speeding tickets, gas tax, etc.).
It’s better than a sales tax, because a sales tax doesn’t have anything but precedent behind it, and a road tax has a direct correlation to something in the real world. “Driving isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.”

I don’t exactly know how to respond to the argument that it forces the poor off the road other than; WE’VE GOT THE BEST DAMN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN THE US, AND IT’S CHEAPER THAN DRIVING TO BOOT.


Apparently Google has forgiven me for submitting my invites to the spool and given me another ten, so if you read this, and you want them, feel free to comment and get a Gmail account.

Family in Hats

Family in Hats

Originally uploaded by benkay.

I found this family in hats on Broadway a couple nights back. I couldn’t decide whether it was cute or trite, and I called a friend to determine. She think’s that it was trite, and I maintain the cuteness of the scene. HOWEVER, feel free to submit your own opinions of the pic.
And a note: I never knew that the camera on my 3650 was all that grainy at night, lame.
Another note: Shout out to the family that stood for a pic with a cameraphone.

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