Archive for March, 2005

Return of Webtrends

How often is a company able to return to independence after being acquired? I suppose the answer all depends on how you define independence. A nice BizJournal article on the return of WebTrends to a form of independence.

You remember WebTrends don’t you? They had a bubble IPO and then got acquired by NetIQ Corp. (NetIQ being one of those companies that will explain what it does, but then you still have no idea what they do: “Knowlege-Based Service Assurance“) The BizJournal story also mentions that former founder Greg Drew will be the CEO of WebTrends (which makes me happy, I always liked and having a local-boy CEO is legit).

How does a company remove itself from it’s corporate owner? Just find someone that can cover the $94 million, like Francisco Partners. According to their website they “provide transformational capital by working in close concert with the management team to reposition, recapitalize, or otherwise rejuvenate companies to support strong long-term value creation.” And says, “Web analytics is a competitive sector, but WebTrends was stuck within a larger company focused on computer-system and security management.”

WebTrends will have to keep an eye on Urchin, which was just acquired by Google. There is definitely something of a buying spree going on (MSN purchased AdCenter), with some referring to the buying trend as “Bubble 2.0”. I like seeing the buying frenzy work out so that some businesses are freed from corporate parents, instead of all the cool little companies (Flickr, Bloglines, Technorati, Feedster) getting gobbled up.

Sidenote: While trolling for dirt on Francisco Partners (none found), the closest thing I found was that managing partner David Stanton was a general partner with Texas Pacific Group and both Texas Pacific and FP have invested in Smart Modular Technologies, but I suppose the “private equity investment world” is relatively small and this doesn’t mean much.

The Multnomah County Income Tax

The following is information about why the Multnomah County Income tax was created in the first place. It is taken from this Multnomah County webpage.

It always rains during the Rose Festival

Here in Portland, Oregon we have an annual Rose Festival. It’s a big to-do to celebrate Portland’s roses, or so I’ve been told. Portland is almost as famous for its roses as for the local professional basketball team, the JailblazersTrailblazers.

The Rose Festival lasts for almost two weeks…and…every year when the Rose Festival starts, the rain rains more than usual.

I have, however, done very little research on this and this very little research proves, sort of, that two weeks prior to the start of the Rose Festival there is a dry spell sometimes.

Imagine that, if the Rose Festival were moved up two weeks Portand could have, maybe, a dry Rose Festival. I realize this bucks a tradition that goes back years when the founders of the Rose Festival were doing wine testing every day for hours and hours.

But I ask, “Should mankind be stuck with silly traditions just because we now consume more beer than wine (ok, ok, that’s only true for some Portlanders)? No. I said, “No!”

The reason I’m adamant about having a dry Rose Festival is because a part of the festival is going to the “Fun Center”. The Fun Center is in a park down near Portland’s famous, extremely polluted Willamette River, somewhat near Portland’s famous superfund site.

Every year it rains and rains and the rain turns the Fun Center into one big mud pool with small but expensive carnival rides. This may be fun for the kids and the people who like to watch people in business suits get all muddy, but it’s not fun for those of us who like to sit on the grass to listen to the various bands that play in covered tents and sometimes outside.

So I say, let’s move the Rose Festival up two weeks.

Doug Fir: Perfect for ‘old farts’ like me!

At least, that’s the angle WWeek pushes in this week’s cover story. And you know? It’ll be good enough to hook me in sometime soon.

I’m a huge fan of live music. My tastes are ecletic, wide-ranging, and definitely not calcified – despite what my young son might say (hey, I’m the one who’s turned him on to new music – even scored him an autographed Maroons CD from a show at Berbati’s a few weeks ago. And his friends oooh and ahhhh over my iTunes collection. But I digress.)

But I also am, ahem, of a ‘certain age.’ I have responsibilities, kids, and a day job. And while certain vices linger on (New Deal vodka, anyone?) others have gone by the wayside (I’ve been smokefree for, uh, close to 20 years now.)

So, clubs that ban smoking (as Berbati’s has done recently)? I’m there. Inclined to clean the messes up off the floor? Fine by me – despite one WWeek commenter, I don’t find vomit and dirt proof of an authentic club experience, thankyouverymuch. Acts that start on time? Hallelujah!

After all, I need to hit the recliner for my nightly dose of Metamucil and warm milk in a timely manner, don’t you know…

So…might have to put a field trip to Doug Fir on the agenda for the next kid-free weekend. Which, as it happens, is this weekend (yay, hooray!)

Any suggestions or recommendations for an evening excursion…?

Discrimination or Anti-Discrimination

This sort of thing always makes me question what discrimination is. Can you discriminate against a heterosexual organization for discriminating against homos? Can you exclude homosexuals from private endeavours? Apparently (see Boy Scouts).

Tom Potter won’t congratulate the winner of Ms. Portland or something like that. Clicky clicky.

BLF + noodles = happiness

I see the Dim Sum entry is getting some action, so I’mma throw this out there and see what I get back-

Noodles. I love them. I love them in a manner that borders on the unhealthy. I’m a sucker for pad thai, I’m helpless against the powers of rice noodle ramen packets (in amongst the rest of Uwajimaya’s siren song), I have a special place in my heart for pho.

What’s good in the hood, yo? I have been enjoying the newly remodeled Pho Van on 82nd, and I like the noodle-y goodness of Noodlin and NoodleMe, even though NoodleMe is a bit far (I’m in SE). Name names, people, I need to know where to go to get my noodle fix!

Not only Where, but What…

I’d like to open this up to all our Constant Readers (to coin a phrase).

What do you wish you saw here? What do you see that you can’t get enough of? Local news complete with commentary? Local happenings? Politics? Reviews? Rants? Lions, or tigers, or bears? (oh my!)

Please comment and say that you like the news stuff or the people stuff or the ranty stuff or the goofy stuff or whatever it is that you come back here for. We want to know! While it’s fun (for me anyway) to get to write things for the MetBlog, it has to be fun to read, too. Please speak up. Be heard! Vote early, vote often, and all that goings-on.

Portland Public Schools

Recent announcemments of proposed school closures in the Portland Public School District has again focused the attention of a group of parents on the actions and plans of the Portland School Board and the recently hired School Superintendent, Vicki Phillips.

The continued existence of at least adequate school performance is, especially in Oregon, tied to the way public schools are funded. In Oregon a large percentage of school funding is through the income tax.

I believe such a heavy reliance on the income tax is not the best way to fund state programs and school programs, especially in times of high unemployment and/or the current situation where we have a reliance on low wage income and retiree income plus high unemployment.

Public schools have a mix of funding sources and you can find some of the info about revenue and spending at the following links.

There is also more information about finances at the website of Citizens for Oregon’s Future.

Oregon’s financing of public schools also relies on profits from the Oregon Lottery. I, personally don’t think relying on lottery funds is a great idea because of the transitory nature of the funds, but I can understand why some folks want to take the money as long as some money is actually coming in. The Oregon Lottery has a webpage that tells people where the profits go.

Multnomah County, where a lot of Portland Public Schools hang out, has instituted a county income tax with much, but not all, of the revenue dedicated to public schools in the county.

The Oregonian, Oregon’s largest newspaper, has weighed in on Portland’s proposed school closures with some editorials. I’m going to highlight two of them. I don’t necessarily agree with the editorials but they show that the proposals of Vicki Phillips have garnered some attention and any attention given public schools in Portland is probably a good thing.

Since links to webpages to the Oregonian seem to rot before their time I’m putting the editorials in blockquotes at the end of this post.

I think the general state of affairs of public schools in Oregon is abysmal. I think the first thing that needs to be done is to change how Oregon gets revenue. I think Oregon should do away with the personal income tax, keep the corporate income tax, and institute a sales tax with, of course, the provisions that food, medical stuff, health insurance, etc. be exempted.

Where are all the MetBloggers?

Look at the list to the left. Those people are the Portland Metrobloggers.

Link at this post, the ones above it (assuming there will be) and the ones below. You’ll see me (a new addition), TK, Mikey, Betsy, and now the illustrious John Hays. Also, Benkay, Josh B, and BananaLee have made recent appearances. But where are Sasquatch, Russ, Eric, and Jeff?

I think it can be discouraging to blog here, because you have no idea who (if anyone) is reading you. At least on your own blog, you can set up a counter, see where people are checking you out from, etc. Here, it’s like yelling into the forest. You’re not sure if anyone hears you, or, for that matter, if anyone cares what you’re saying.

Anyway, if you see a Portland MetBlogger who writes something you like, let them know. Or hop over to their blog (I’m guessing most, like me, can tell when they are being visited by someone who’s read them here). The MetBlog is a neat idea. Many voices, many perspectives, many topics, but one common theme — the town (or, in John Hays’ case, the urban/suburban metroplex) we call home. Let people know you care.

Portland is in the middle of a rain forest

Hello. This is my first post for Portland. I used to live inside Portland city limits but now I live about 8 miles outside the city limit, so maybe I should post about “Portland and surrounding areas”.

In any event, it’s raining once again. The back yard is flooded. This is usual for this time of year.

According to various weathercasters, Portland and other parts of Oregon are in a drought. Only in Portland could there be a drought at this time of year just because it didn’t rain the usual amount, which is a lot.

Portland is, or was a little more than a hundred years ago, smack dab in the middle of a rain forest. I wish it were a tropical rain forest, but it’s not.

I guess the unwritten rule for the internet is that there has to be a portal for every imaginable subject under the sun. Sure enough, there is a portal that will give you information about rain forests. Interestingly enough, it is called

I understand that Portland gets about the same amount of rain as Philadelphia. I find this difficult to believe, but I suppose it’s possible, although I can’t imagine how it’s possible.

It’s about time to check the weather again. Nevermind, I am able to look through the window and with my superior deductive skills, I can deduce that it’s raining…once more…again…and again… Is the liquor store still open? Why are my shoes and clothes wet? Why are ducks swimming outside the door? Is that one of those famous polluted fish from the Willamette River smiling at me outside the window?

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