Archive for July, 2005

Unwired Portland

Mikey has an excellent summary of the Unwire Portland meeting that I unfortunately was out of town for. SO FRUSTRATING.

Best source(s) for local news?

Where do you go to get local news? Who do you typically trust to give you the straight scoop – or at least to give you enough information to help you piece it together yourself without too much hype or innuendo? More importantly – who (or what) do you steer clear of?

Be as specific or generic as you’d like, please.

As for me, well – I’m a voracious consumer of all things media (as you’ve probably guessed already) and will wade through almost anything, including several local blogs and/or RSS feeds. (I may bitch about The O, for example – but it’s still a must-read for me, as I’ve discussed before.) The one source I tend to steer clear of? Local television news, for the most part.

Rope-A-Dope

The Oregonian’s investigative reporting reminds me of a punch-drunk boxer on the ropes. He’s ready to collapse under the weight of his own head, yet still flails wildly, hoping against hope that he’ll land a lucky punch.

Consider these recent rounds:

PDC Burnside Bridge fiasco/PR consultant meltdown: b!X had the story (and provided a ringside seat in the comments, no less), followed closely by WWeek, and then eventually, The O.

PDC consultant fiasco, part two: WWeek gets this one, with help from a commenter or two on Jack Bog’s Blog. The O? Rehashing stories yet again – a week later, no less.

Then there was the ‘did NOT! did TOO!’ bickering back-and-forths between The O and The Trib over the Francke case. Was it really necessary to put two reporters on that ancient story, just to try and make Phil Stanford look bad?

Bernie Giusto and the magical expanding overtime budget: read it in WWeek.

Bernie Giusto and this year’s almost-divorcee: WWeek again.

Michael Speck and the 85K in contracts granted to his son: Yep, WWeek. Again.

And this is just in the last few months (surely I don’t need to pile on by mentioning two more prominent names that start with a G and a P, do I?)

And the flailing? Started last year with the Wu story right before the elections; continued in the self-serving faux-congratulatory article announcing WWeek’s Pulitzer win for the Goldschmidt story, and continues yet again with the Randy Leonard front page investigation (which I’ve now dubbed ‘Wu Two’ in the comments over on this PDX Media Insider post.) (Randy posts his rebuttal here on BlueOregon, fyi.)

What’s next? Busse and The Merc scooping The O?
At this rate, anything’s possible…

Dwight does it all

Have a correction for an article that ran in the Tribune? The paper suggests that you “call Executive Editor Dwight Jaynes if you see an error.”

(The absence of a listed email contact for corrections is duly noted, of course.)

Dwight’s already the focal point for business and feature story suggestions – and he’s now catching corrections as well? In addition to his editing responsibilities, staff management & writing a twice-weekly column, no less.

What’ll be added to Dwight’s plate next? Restaurant reviews? Community Calendar listings?

Pretty soon, the Trib will be all Dwight, all the time…

You know you’re cool when…

… you go to a small show at Dante’s and vibe on The High Dials with an unobstructed view of the stage and just a handful of jocks rolling in off the street after the beer festival and so very few people in the venue at all that even the cigarette smoke is remarkably inoffensive and in fact, adds to the overall atmosphere…

… and then moments before The Out Crowd takes the stage, three of the four members of The Dandy Warhols slip in & join the audience and everyone rocks together to one of the best shows in months.

By the way, Montreal’s The High Dials hooked me in right away and had me sold the moment I saw the sitar on stage, plus they were all polite, friendly young men that know how to rock. The Abandoned Pools put on a tight show, too.

After last night’s show, I feel a civic responsibility not only to support Matt Hollywood’s band as they play around town, but to promote The Out Crowd to whoever’ll listen. So listen & enjoy and maybe we’ll catch up at their next show (August 6th at the Towne Lounge).

And this guy keeps his job…why?

The investigation into Michael Speck’s contract awarding process (first questioned in this WWeek article) has concluded (article in The O today) – and it turns out that Speck authorized over 85 thousand dollars’ worth of contracts to a company owned by his son.

How did he pull this off? By slicing and dicing the RFPs small enough so that they’d skirt by the requirement for a competitive bidding process, that’s how.

The 21-year Fire Bureau veteran managed to keep his job – garnering a 4-week unpaid suspension instead. Slap on the hands, you think? Absolutely – and this quote confirms it:

Lt. Allen Oswalt emphasized that Speck, whose base salary was $68,744 last year, did not steal money from the city.

“He did make a mistake,” Oswalt said. “But on the same token, we got work done in a satisfactory manner.”

No, Lt. Oswalt. He didn’t make ‘a mistake.’ He made at least 28 of them. That you’ve found, that is.

And given Oregon Revised Statute 244.040 (1)(a) which says:

“No public official shall use or attempt to use official position or office to obtain financial gain…for any business with which the public official or a relative of the public official is associated.” Under statutory definitions, Speck qualifies as a public official. (quoted from the WWeek article)

I ask again: Why in the world does this guy get to keep his job?

Why have I not been to Sellwood Park before?

What a great place to go swimming – particularly if you’re attending a party & have the entire place to yourselves. Our hostess tells me rental rates are incredibly reasonable – it’s definitely a better alternative to those pre-packaged hella-expensive birthday party outings.

And after two hours of swimming plus time on the playground afterwards? You bring home tired, docile kids, hooray!

The park itself looked familiar – I should have guessed that it’s another Olmstead family design. Frederick Law Olmstead is probably most famous for designing Central Park in NYC, and the family firm Olmstead Brothers developed a park plan for Portland in 1903 – we’re lucky enough to have Olmstead parks sprinkled throughout PDX as well (Laurelhurst Park in particular invokes memories of spring walks through CP.)

A few side notes: Interestingly enough, a quick Google search on ‘Olmstead park Portland’ revealed this recent thread over on Portland Architecture, bemoaning the fact that we never managed to fully implement Olmstead’s vision for Portland parks.

I also uncovered this summation of Olmstead’s 40 Mile Loop, designed to create a connected series of parks encircling the metropolitan area. Here’s a link to the original 1904 Plan Map, from the city’s transportation department.

Finally, if you’re really interested, here’s the 63 page PDF of the original 1903 Olmstead Brothers report

Got recognized today…

I keep it on the DL that I’m a blogger. I, ah, get self-conscious I guess. I don’t even like to talk all that much. Ask the other bloggers. But today? One of my customers knew my last name. From this website. So Josh, if you’re reading this, hello. This is my shout-out to you.

In other news, my housemate’s dog just broke my partner’s Japanese maple in half. Knocked the whole thing off its trunk, in fact. All because a squirrel was flicking its tail at it from the top of the fence.

It’s been quite the day.

Tribune changes, part two

There’s still plenty of buzz around town about the Trib’s recent changes – and no one seems to be buying the valiant effort at a rosy picture that publisher Steve Clark’s trying to spin around town.

PDX Media Watcher wonders how increased sales and revenue translates into layoffs and restructuring. And b!X asks this question (in a post titled ‘Tribune’ Spins Itself Off Its Axis) – Is it time to start the Portland Tribune dead pool yet? – and wonders aloud:

If the paper folds, are we just plain short on outlet, or is there someone out there waiting in the wings to fill a potential void?

And that’s the key question – what void does the Trib think it needs to fill? Clark’s letter repeats this key phrase – ‘local relevancy’- while touting efforts like Weekend Life and Trib Town as examples of efforts that accomplish that goal.

While focusing on local relevancy is a noble goal (especially in contrast to The O’s reliance on three-day old wire stories to fill their A section, for example), I have to question some of the vehicles they’ve chosen to accomplish that mission – I wonder at the long-term vision that suggests banking on an expanded Weekend Life is the way to establish that local relevancy, for example.
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Go to the movies part II


Go to the movies part II

Originally uploaded by dieselboii.

I told you it was a big screen. Remember, Raiders of the Lost Ark begins at dusk.

Sent from my phone, probably whilst out walking…

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