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Michael Munk PDX Historian
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I am confounded that we have collectively abandoned responsibility for ourselves. Why have we as a society turned our backs on providing for our own personal safety, as well as our loved one’s? Were the cavemen smarter than us? Our ancestors never left the cave without a club.
Don Dupay for Salem Insider
The Stump › oped Oct 27, 2011 - Dave Lister: "The PDC has written off $9.6 million in bad debt on misbegotten projects in the past 10 years, including $1.8 million for a failed condominium project overseen by Judy Shiprack, who later was elected to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. The agency also promotes a culture of secrecy. As reported in The Oregonian, two high-level PDC staffers were recently awarded severance packages totaling $150,000 on the condition that they leave quietly and not disparage the agency. When asked why the PDC has backed these failed projects, its answer has been that the projects were too risky to obtain conventional financing. If that's the case, why were they backed at all? Why are Portland's taxpayers in the banking business? Is it really the city's role to select winners and losers? Ultimately, that is a question for the city's voters. Maybe it's time to do away with the PDC. What the voters did in 1958 can be undone." Dave Lister is a small-business owner who served on Portland's Small Business Advisory Council.
Randy Leonard www.portlandmonthlymag.com/news-and-profiles/people-and-profiles/articles/whats-next-for-randy-leonard-may-2012 Image: Andy Batt
"The PDC was interested in acquiring the old Police Bureau property on the corner of SW 3rd and Oak in 2002. They had an appraisal done that indicated the property was worth $850,000. The PDC promptly paid $1.2 million for the property and then spent another $500,000 removing the building and cleaning up contamination to make the property "shovel ready" for a developer. PDC then had the very same appraisal firm do another appraisal in 2006. The second appraisal now indicated the property was worth negative $2.7 million. Yes, you read that right. NEGATIVE $2.7 million dollars. And yes, that property is in downtown Portland.
But wait. There's more. Then the PDC commission voted to give the property to a private developer to construct a 168 unit condominium project on the condition that 15% of the condominiums initially be affordable for people earning 120% of median family income, which is about 40% higher than the nearest threshold for City Council approval. After nine months, the development proposal says, any units not sold can be sold to people of any income level.
At a time when we have senior citizens who are in poverty on multi-year waiting lists to get into decent housing, the PDC constructed a deal on the SW 3rd and Oak property that benefits upper income Portlander's with a huge taxpayer subsidy. And for the icing on the cake, the PDC communicated to the private developer that the project would not be prevailing wage because prevailing wage law is triggered by a government subsidy, and since the property on SW 3rd and Oak had a negative value it did not amount to a subsidy, and would not trigger prevailing wage.
... since I was first elected to the city council in November, 2002, the PDC has refused to allow the city council to look at its line item annual budget during the city councils annual budgeting process. There is to this date no accountability to any elected official as to how and why PDC spends its money."
The Black Panthers in the Pacific NorthWest
To read the whole Black History Edition click here
Somali American Council of Oregon Seeks to Unite Frightened Community
African youth are at-risk from extremists, but they are also caught in the school to prison pipeline… To read all about it click here
Published on Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Common Dreams
Now Six - Not One - Hanford Tanks Leaking Radioactive Waste
Governor: "This is disturbing news"
Six aging, single-walled underground storage tanks are leaking radioactive waste, threatening groundwater below the Hanford nuclear site, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced on Friday afternoon.
The seeping waste adds to decades of soil contamination caused by leaking storage tanks at Hanford in the past and threatens to further taint groundwater below the Columbia River, officials said.
The newly disclosed leaking tanks were revealed by Inslee just a week after the U.S. Energy Department disclosed that radioactive waste was found to be escaping from only one tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
"This is disturbing news for all Washingtonians," Inslee said in a statement released by his office. "This certainly raises serious questions about the integrity of all 149 single-shell tanks with radioactive liquid and sludge at Hanford... We received very disturbing news today. I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks."
Obama's 'Playbook' for Targeted Strikes Has a Gaping Hole--CIA's Killer Drones in Pakistan Exempted
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
January 22, 2013 |
The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) campaign of drone strikes in tribal areas in Pakistan will continue to run wild in the coming year. A “playbook” for how the U.S. conducts targeted killing operations by drone that is nearly completed will exempt the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan, making the “playbook” essentially useless, considering that the vast majority of strikes occur in Pakistan.
From the Daily Kos!
by Samuel Metz, MD
My brother-in-law Max has smoked since he was 12 years old. Now he’s turning 40 and hates the miserable habit. His many efforts to quit reduced his three-pack a day habit to one, but he still can’t kick the addiction. Meanwhile, his many years of low-paying jobs, if they offered any benefits at all, provided him only with high-deductible health insurance he couldn't afford to use. He hadn’t seen a physician in years. But last month he went to the emergency room with a hacking cough that kept him awake for two nights running. The ER people gave him three pieces of bad news: (1) he’s got an advanced lung cancer requiring an operation he can’t afford, (2) the only hospital that will admit him is the county hospital funded with tax dollars, and (3) the multi-hundred dollar emergency room bill is more than he can pay.
Question: Should we spend our hard-earned tax dollars on Max’s operation? Or should Max go without health care because, after all, his bad decisions had allowed the disease to go undetected for so long and caused the cancer in the first place?
It's a question that goes to the heart of our health care crisis. Should we reduce health care costs by excluding the undeserving? If we don’t squander dollars on them, we liberate billions for us solid citizens who earned our right to health care. Why should everyone have that right?...
If Oregonians diverted what we currently spend on health care premiums and out-of-pocket payments into a statewide, publicly-funded, universal care agency, we would recover enough administrative costs to pay for treatment for uninsured people like Max without spending more money. We need to regain our health care dollars from insurance companies, not from our neighbors (deserving or undeserving).
Universal health care is an essential tool to ensure each of us gets better care for less money. Who cares if freeloaders get care at our expense if by doing so the rest of us spend less and receive better care?
So hop on the bandwagon for quality health care for everyone. The campaign to create publicly funded universal health care in Oregon is underway, spearheaded by Health Care for All-Oregon. To provide Max with the care he needs while making your own care less expensive, visit www.hcao.org. Learn more about how to become a better advocate for your family’s health care needs and play your own role in this vital process. Turning Oregon into a shining example of cost-effective comprehensive health care requires people like us looking after ourselves, our families, and our communities. Join us!
Samuel Metz is a private practice anesthesiologist, HCAO representative from the Portland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, and founding member of Mad As Hell Doctors.
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and the courage to take.” Emma Goldman
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