A Couple of Minor Bones to Pick With Willamette Week

Lest you get the wrong idea, I’m a big fan of Willamette Week. I read it religiously, and think they do a bang-up job when it comes to investigative journalism, and getting the news out about the various things that happen in our fair city in any given week. That said, I’ve read some stuff lately that’s raised a minor hackle.

First, this article. Specifically, the sentence “So, yuppies who can afford a $22,000 new Prius get a tax giveaway. Meanwhile, the poor get squeezed—even though their daily commute is cleaner.” The author seems to be attempting to make the following points – one, that no tax credit should be given for those who buy hybrids (fuel savings should be incentive enough), and two, that he or she seems to believe that only yuppies can afford them, and therefore don’t deserve the tax credit. Well, if it’s true that only yuppies can afford to buy hybrids, then shouldn’t we keep the tax credit to help non-yuppies afford such a vehicle? Maybe there’s something I’m not getting here. Or maybe I’m just not understanding why a vehicle with an entry point of $22,000 (which is fairly low as far as new cars go) is so exclusive as to be available only to yuppies. Further, I think that we still need to do everything we can to promote alternatives to gas-guzzlers, and that the tax break should remain intact. Finally, of all the people I know that own hybrids, none of them would qualify as anything you could remotely call “yuppie”.

Anyway, I thought that particular angle was a bit Larson-esque – strange from such a normally progressive paper.

One other gripe was in the “Finder” – a glossy, IKEA-catalog looking thing that you can find at a number of locations city-wide. This “Willamette Week’s Guide to Portland” has some pretty good stuff in it. There’s a breakdown of the city neighborhood-by-neighborhood which is a great read, and made me proud of the town we call home. However, there was one article “Breeders and Beer” which gave me pause. The article listed a number of local joints where you could drink beer AND take your kids. The article then goes on to rate each establishment by “Supervision level”, ranging from “Toddlers need to be watched” to “Little needed”. Rogue Ales Public House on Flanders is rated as “some supervision needed”. Parents, your local pub is NOT a nursery. It’s true that the Laurelhurst has a playroom – but it’s still not a nursery. You need to watch your kids. And more than “some” supervision is needed in places like the Rogue. While it’s true your child is not likely to be abducted, it’s more than a little annoying (and dangerous for the serving staff) to see little Johnny running up and down the aisles while grown-ups are trying to unwind after work. Even at a place like the Laurelhurst, your kids are going to need more than just a little supervision.

4 Comments so far

  1. daaaaave on June 27th, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

    Hello, blogger. The confusion you are experiencing is due to the fact that you are, in fact, a yuppie.

  2. tenstringesquire (port_bill) on June 27th, 2008 @ 4:48 pm

    I am? Sweet!

    …still feel kinda broke, though…

  3. theoutsider on June 28th, 2008 @ 4:40 am

    No worries, Squire. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave probably thinks anybody with better-than-disastrous financial prospects or owning three or more garments purchased at full retail price is a "yuppie." All self-righteous, self-proclaimed "working class hero" trust-fund hippies must perish in flames.

    Re: the substance of your post, that Prius is only $1.5k more than the adjusted price of the Honda Accord my parents bought almost twenty years ago. They were middle-aged, already on a fixed income, and absolutely not shopping for a driveway ornament. Apparently, sensible is the new cool.

    I’ve had my own bones to pick with WW, the Merc, et al, mainly that they read less like journalism and more like snarky hipster blogging with every passing month. News flash for publishers: if you want to survive in the era of electronic media, the solution is not to adopt electronic media’s less-exacting standards and practices. Oh, well. Not every paper can be the Tribune.

  4. badfetch on June 30th, 2008 @ 2:23 pm

    It’s the Laurelwood which has the children play areas, a bin of coloring books, and mini tubs of crayons when you walk in the front door. They advertise themselves as being very kid-friendly. I see nothing wrong with that, or with parents taking advantage of the very small list of brewpubs in town which cater to that demographic. I’m in complete agreement with you that those who do choose to bring their offspring with them to drinking places need to still treat the place as a restaurant, and not Chuck-E-Cheese. There are people there without kids, and being respectful of that is all I ask. Also, be selective as to which places you choose. The Laurelwood being a very good place, but dragging kids in to Tug Boat Brewing or The Rogue is just poor planning. You deserve those wicked glares from the table over when your kid starts going nuts. Those who frequent pubs and don’t have kids, I don’t suggest going to the Laurelwood, just like I don’t suggest you go to Chuck-E-Cheese either. Oh, unless it’s to pick up (takeout) one of their pizza pies. Damn, those are good. From the Laurelwood, not the mouse place.

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