Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Living small

More people living shrunken lives.  NYC is one of the most expensive places on Earth to live - but it isn't helped by rent control and other government regulations.  In most cities, affordability is controlled by the supply of land that regional governments allow to be built on.

These are interesting and inventive living concepts for young people.  I wonder how many of them would be profitable with no subsidies to developers and rented at market rates?

Five Finalists in NYC's Micro-Apartment Competition
ny.curbed.com January 23, 2013  By Sara Polsky

Mayor Bloomberg announced the results of the city's adAPT NYC competition yesterday, and a team made up of Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS will be designing a building of 55 micro apartments (of 250 to 370 square feet) at 335 East 27th Street. The lucky winning team was just one of 33 entries (an HPD record) to the competition. 

Antidote to suburban shame

This is for all Lake Oswegans who feel embarrassed to tell people they live in the SUBURBS.  I know you're out there - you're the ones who look at every piece of land and think about how it can be transformed into something taller, denser and more vibrant.

This design contest is from 2009.  Unfortunately there was only one such re-envisioning of the wastelands known as suburbia.  Perhaps the vacant big box stores did not come to pass as had been predicted.  Maybe it was because people refused to move out of their McMansions, or that someone realized more people are moving TO the suburbs than away from them.  Reality bites.

Seriously, I think the designs are wonderfully creative and some may find practical use somewhere someday.  But to declare suburbia a misbegotten lifestyle worthy of transformation (re-burbanizing) is elitism run amok.  So I present these ideas for their inventiveness, and thought-provoking ideas, but not as solutions to (and not for planners to write codes for)...suburbia!  

See finalist designs and explanations at the link below.  


We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2009 Reburbia Competition, sponsored jointly by Dwell and Inhabitat. The competition challenged architects, designers and concerned citizens to come up with solutions that would address the problems that plague present-day suburbia by envisioning different scenarios for the future. Proposals tackled foreclosed McMansions, vacant big box stores, strip malls, parking lots and more with design fixes ranging from community agriculture and algae-based biofuels to zeppelin-based transit and pools transformed into water treatment plants. The competition drew over 400 entries from countries all over the world. 

Entrepreneurbia: Rezoning Suburbia for Self-Sustaining Life
by Urban Nature, F&S Design Studio and Silverlion Design

65 million years of cooling

Science isn't something you "believe in" or "deny."  It's not like a child believing tooth fairy.  Science deals in theories and proofs, but even when all the loose ends are tied up, one can start to unravel.  That's the great thing about knowledge - we can't know it all.

When we start using imperfect, incomplete or corrupted science to try to affect social change, it is

The big picture: 65 million years of temperature swings

JoNova - "skeptical science for dissident thinkers"

65 million years of cooling

The following two graphs (images created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art) are climate records based on oxygen isotope thermometry of deep-ocean sediment cores from many parts of the world [1]).  On both graphs, colder temperatures are toward the bottom, and warmer temperatures toward the top. Significant temperature events on the first graph show the start and end of Antarctic glaciation 34 and 25 million years ago, and the resumption of glaciation about 13 million years ago. It is obvious from the graph that we are now living in the coldest period of Earth’s history for the last 65 million years. Despite recent rumors of global warming, we are actually in a deep freeze. 

Unscientific hockey sticks and hidden dat

The bottom line is that there are a mass of studies that show it was warmer in medieval times, and that it was global. Yet there is a disinformation campaign out there by the IPCC and others to promote the idea that it was a local phenomenon and that the Hockey Stick Graph has not been resoundingly, completely shown to be scientifically baseless. 

The races are shaping up...

...so it's time to start following the money.  

The ballots will be coming out in a couple of weeks, but unfortunately, campaign finance reporting is not designed to catch up to the votes.  In a perfect world, final reporting would be done before ballots are mailed, nevertheless it should be done (or almost done) before Election Day.  As it is, if people vote early, they will not be able to find out who important contributors are to various candidates.

Another huge problem in my book is the legal practice of one political action committee or candidate committee giving money to another.  Under these circumstances, a person could give money to Candidate A, believing their money would benefit his or her campaign.  But A could wind up taking money from his or her campaign pot o' gold and give it to Candidate B or C or even a PAC.   The contributor might reasonably feel duped because the money wasn't being used as he or she had intended.  Or the contributor might be pleased because their money could be transferred to other campaigns with no paper trail of who the money came from except for the first transaction.

But I digress.  From ORESTAR, here's what we know so far:

Ed Brockman "Ed Brockman for Lake Oswego City Council"
       Campaign is self-managed.  Contributions ($153) are self-funded.
Joseph Buck "Joe Buck for L.O."
       Karen Jacobson, Treasurer;  Robert Le Chavellier, Director
       Financial activity shows contribution(s) to date are self-funded ($3,500), though further
       checking shows that "The Friends of Greg Macpherson" committee contributed an
       additional $250 in mid-Sept.
Jeff Gudman  "Jeffrey Gudman for Lake Oswego City Council"
       Michael DeMello, Treasurer and Director; collections are $700 to date, $500 is self-funded.
Matthew Keenen  "Matt Keenen for Council"
        Gerald Good, Treasurer; Timothy Keenen, Correspondent
        No information on financial activity to date.
Jackie Manz  "Jackie Manz for City Council"
         Campaign is self-managed.  Contributions of $1,000 to date.

There are a few candidate and issue forums coming up, two local organizations that interview candidates and endorse favorites (LOCAL and COLA LO), along with newspaper, business and civic organization endorsements.  It is very important for citizens to become informed about candidate positions and vote accordingly.  Do not accept wishy-washy answers to direct questions - find out the self-interests of the organizations and individuals who are endorsing candidates - put the candidates to the test before you vote!  It's our city after all.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Taller and denser

What goes on in Portland, should stay in Portland.  Some of it is exciting and great design, but the neighborhoods should not be paying the price of mis-placed density - and not enough parking.  
Under discussion: Pressures are forcing Portland to become taller and denser
The Oregonian, September 28, 2014   By Mike Francis

Repacking Portlandia

America’s most urban planning-obsessed city is about to get a lot more urban

For those of us who’ve lived in Portland for more than a year or two, the urban landscape has already changed quite a lot. We’ve watched Southeast Division Street grow from an overlooked neighborhood drag dotted with diners and mini marts into the Pacific Northwest’s most scrutinized dining street. We can tell stories about when artists still lived in the Alberta Arts District, sharing space with working class families who’d been there since the days when we still built Liberty Ships.

Some of us even remember when the South Waterfront was just a barren stretch of brownfield, wedged between two traffic-thronged bridges. It’s been a busy decade for Stumptown, no doubt.
So when I say that the next five years are going to transform the streets and buildings of central Portland more dramatically than at any time in living memory, you’re forgiven for thinking it’s hyperbole.
It’s not. 

A look through the real estate stories in local newspapers, business journals and the Portland Monthly makes this much clear: there’s a construction boom going on in the city, and for the first time in a generation, it’s producing buildings that are truly, enthusiastically, sometimes ill-advisedly new. As Randy Gragg points out in that article series above, the boom is not unprecedented in size; the number of building permits issued in the city in 2013 is still well below the peak of the hot-burning early 2000s. But what’s being permitted this time is different. Instead of more two-story homes with lawns, punctuated by the occasional condo, now we seem to be making almost nothing but urban buildings. City buildings. Buildings for people who walk fast and ride the streetcar and take taxis, and stay up late and order takeout.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Perfectly timed photos

The 50 Most Perfectly Timed 
Photos Ever

By Internet standards, a perfectly timed photo occurs when two of the following three conditions are met:
1. Perfect Place

2. Perfect Time

3. Perfect Angle
Sometimes the holy trinity of perfectness is achieved and you get an Internet classic like so many of the photographs below. There are countless galleries of these images floating around. I tried my best to compile the most representative of this concept. If you’re craving more, the following links are a good start: r/PerfectTiming on Reddit; Bored Panda (herehere and here); BuzzFeed (here and here)

 Below is a sample of the 50 photos on the website.

By Ensign John Gay/US Navy

By Sindri Skulason on Fliker

By Frode Sandbech

By Martin Bernetti (via rusrep.ru)

By Bored Panda

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A regulatory world gone wild

Update (9/29/14):  the Forest Service is backing off some of its proposed regulations due to a huge number of bipartisan complaints.  The proof is in the pudding - so wait to see what is actually done.  Comment period has been extended.

This has nothing to do with land use, suburbs, or Lake Oswego, but it is a great example of how petty bureaucrats are archiving power (or trying to) over the public they are supposed to serve.  This, of course is so outrageous that it is easy to condemn, but the desire to exert control over others seems irresistible these days.  There just doesn't seem to be enough humility and respect to go around anymore.

7 things you should know about the Forest Service's media restrictions in wilderness 

The U.S. Forest Service is cracking down on press coverage in federal wilderness areas.

As we reported, under rules being finalized, a reporter who shot a video or photo on an iPhone in 36 million acres of wilderness would first need to pay for a special permit.

Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don't get them could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they'd allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.
Our story drew swift outrage from across the country.
  "What does the Forest Service plan to do next—monitor Instagram accounts and fine users that post pictures of our wilderness areas?" asked U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat. "I will organize and send the Forest Service a bipartisan letter telling them the current rule is unacceptable and that it needs to be fixed."

Here are seven key things you should know about the policy.

1. These rules are already in place. The Forest Service says they've been in place for 48 months and are now being chaptered in law.
The agency adopted the rules shortly after it refused to allow an Idaho Public Television crew into a wilderness area in 2010 to film student conservation workers because the show sold DVDs of its episodes. Idaho's governor intervened and the Forest Service caved to pressure.
2. This isn't just about the media. The policy applies to documentary film crews, nonprofits and private citizens who might use a photo or video to sell something or earned a salary while in the wilderness area. They'd need a special permit first.
3. The policy narrowly defines the circumstances when media wouldn't need a special permit to shoot photos or videos. It allows for photos and videos during breaking news events, describing them as "an event or incident that arises suddenly, evolves quickly, and rapidly ceases to be newsworthy."
But many events, like large wildfires, can arise suddenly and last for weeks.
4. The Forest Service couldn't provide any actual examples of what problems it's trying to addressLiz Close, the agency's acting wilderness director, said the agency was implementing the Wilderness Act of 1964, which aims to protect wilderness areas from being exploited for commercial gain.
"It's not a problem, it's a responsibility," she said. "We have to follow the statutory requirements."
Another federal agency that also manages wilderness areas, the Bureau of Land Management, does not require any special permit for newsgathering.
5. The Forest Service is giving itself wide discretion to decide when it would and wouldn't grant a special permit. "If you were engaged on reporting that was in support of wilderness characteristics, that would be permitted," Close said.
Press advocates worry that would allow the agency to squelch coverage of stories it didn't like.
6. The rules apply across huge swaths of Oregon and the West. More than 63,000 acres on Mount Hood is federally designated wilderness, including the peak. Oregon has 48 wilderness areas, including parts of Mount Jefferson and Mount Washington.
7. A serious fight is brewing. Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va., said his organization would consider suing over the plan if the Forest Service continues to pursue it. The National Press Photographers Associationalso said it would also weigh litigation.
Those interested in commenting on the proposal can do so online.
The areas in green in this photo show where the rules apply around the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Reality Check

If you repeat a mantra often enough and long enough, people will believe it.  This is true especially when the facts are difficult to find and harder to comprehend.  The simple theory currently in vogue is that if you put a lot of people in one place, shops will follow, and vibrancy will result.  Better still, if the dwellings are high-end, the new inhabitants will be well-haved and spend large sums of disposible income on local retail and entertainment.

Reality check for Block 137 and Kessi's claims:  
  • Small apartments command more rent per square foot and are more desirable for investors and landlords.  How easily will these units convert to "high-end" condos later on? 
  • How much of anyone's income will be easily spent on apartments (or condos) that must command very high rents to justify extremely high development costs? ($98 million?)
  • If the developer misses his target market, the owners still need to fill the units to pay the debt and operating costs so rents and/or standards must be lowered to attract tenants  High-end may be the target, but the market determines reality.
  • Given the mix of studio and one-bedroom units to two or more bedrooms, who are the apartments being built for?  Is Lake Oswego poised to be another "Pearl District" for young professionals?  There will be plenty of compitition for the same pool of tenants:  Lloyd District, Pearl District, South Waterfront, North Pearl, NW Portland, East Burnside - all with plans for hig-end apartments and condos in close-in, desirable locations.  Why would these Millennials move to Lake Oswego unless it was to buy a house and raise kids?
  • If you build it, and if they come, will they spend?  Will people behave in the way the planners say they will?  Planners contend people won't need cars if they live near a bus stop so parking can be reduced.  But that doesn't work in Portland or Lake Grove where it's led to disastrous conditions.  People living downtown will likely do their major shopping at Bridgeport, Costco or Washington Square, just like people do now, especially when The Safeway block is redeveloped.  So much for planning theory. 
  • The 24-hour neighborhoods that planners like are based on a model from Greenwich Village in NYC from the 60s and from European cities.  We are not NYC nor do we live in Europe - very few places have the kind of density to support rail transport or shops on every block, and most don't stay open all night.  Who do you want to see out walking at 3:00-4:00 am in your neighborhood?  I don't know about you, but the notion doesn't make me feel very safe.   Suburban family neighborhoods are the safest places to live.  Why would we willingly give that up?
  • Mixed use developments are a transplanted development theory that is spreading the country and beyond, but where are they working as planned?  And are people really putting down roots in these instant communities, or is that even one of the goals? 
Of all the Town Centers and TODs that have been developed in the last 20 years, how many are successful at attracting people who aren't just passing through?  How many mixed-use retail shops and restaurants are full and operating to capacity?  How many developments are functioning as the original planners had predicted?  

Somebody is benefiting from all this redesign and government land use planning and control.  We should know who these people are and where their power and money comes from.   We should  know exactly who and what we are up against when we say we want to control our own neighborhood or town.

We should know the answers to these questions before we throw away our city to plans based on theories of how we should live.  Are you curious about where this all started and why?  I know I am, and answering these questions is one of my goals for doing this blog - to get at the reality behind the curtain of propaganda in land use and societal planning and manipulation.  

The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.
                                                   ----   Tom Clancy

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Lake Oswego Review, September 25, 2014

Too late for Wednesday night's fiasco, but worth reading.


... It would be detrimental to our community to allow the Wizer Block to be developed in a manner that is inconsistent with our local values and our city building codes.
Jacqueline Kyle
Lake Oswego

We love living in this area and the small town/village feel. The Wizer proposal does not fit.
We strongly oppose using any tax dollars for this.
Kelley Lomax and Jim Smith
Lake Oswego

Last Saturday morning, on my way to the farmers market, I encountered a woman with a clipboard who stood on the sidewalk on First Avenue in the Wizer Block. The woman was canvassing in favor of the proposed development of 207 apartments plus retail space. She presented herself as wanting to live there.
Then I learned from a friend that this canvasser was actually a well-known political consultant. I returned and asked her if she was being paid to do this work, and she answered, “I am working for the developer, yes.”
People who live in Lake Oswego should know that paid operatives are presenting themselves as concerned citizens, while our unpaid friends and neighbors are donating their own time and money to oppose this massively out-of-place apartment complex.
The paid consultant suggested to me that opposition to the project is just a case of “NIMBY: Not In My Backyard.” I disagreed and can site several reasons for opposing it: increased traffic congestion, parking problems, cost to taxpayers, the opaque design, inadequate space for new businesses and restaurants, constant turnover of residents and more.
No, our opposition is not a case of “NIMBY.” It is our front yard that we are trying to protect.
Diana Petty
Lake Oswego

USC NOTE:  I can't imagine Elaine Franklin giving up her views of the Willamette River from her Dunthorpe home to be crammed into close quarters with hundreds of other souls in Kessiville and having only one parking space - if she's lucky.  When the Kessi Team speaks, what should a prudent person listen to or believe?  

I don’t want a huge apartment complex destroying the aesthetics of our town. I don’t want to trip over hundreds of people and their dogs. I don’t want to fight the traffic or have to fight for a place to park. I am not opposed to growth and development, just not in downtown Lake Oswego. If the project passes, I will seriously consider leaving Lake Oswego.
I am greatly opposed to the Wizer project and think that it would be a huge disservice to our beloved town.
Diana Harrell
Lake Oswego

This seemingly innocent project threatens not only the future of our Millenium Park, so long awaited and achieved, but also our beautiful views of Mount Hood and our relative peace and tranquility. We are a small city of neighbors. The desire to live in such a bucolic small community is what brought us all here. Let us remain a small village that rejoices in small things.

Please, let this be the end of it. Reject the planned development of Block 137.
Margaret Harkson
Lake Oswego

It does not take an understanding of the city code to recognize that First and Second streets and A Avenue could not support the number of proposed apartments.   It affects every resident who likes to frequent the heart of downtown, not just the nearby neighborhoods. Instead of drawing residents to the center of town, the traffic that would ensue from the apartment density would cause many to avoid the downtown area. 

Carol and Bob Mason
Lake Oswego

Many Lake Oswego residents are vehemently opposed to the potential Block 137 development near Millennium Park, as well they should be. It would destroy the livability of our downtown and flagrantly disregards existing city development guidance, so I oppose it.
The Development Review Commission rejected this development because it was too massive in scale and out of step with the area’s village character in August. The project violates Lake Oswego Urban Design and East End Development plans.
This complex would dwarf the existing retail shops in Lake View Village and the rest of downtown Lake Oswego. It would result in traffic and parking issues which would transfigure our quaint town into yet another overdeveloped urban nightmare.
Matt Cutts
Lake Oswego

City Council approves Wizer Block plan

City Council approves Wizer Block plan

Overturns DRC rejection late Wednesday

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Mayor Kent Studebaker and City Councilor Donna Jordan listen to public testimony Tuesday from opponents of a plan to redevelop downtown Lake Oswegos Wizer Block.


  • City Council votes 5-2 to overturn the Development Review Commission's August decision, effectively approving the Evergreen Group's proposal for Block 137.
  • Yes votes: Mayor Kent Studebaker, Council President Jeff Gudman, and councilors Jon Gustafson, Skip O'Neill and Donna Jordan. No votes: Councilors Karen Bowerman and Lauren Hughes.
  • Councilor Jon Gustafson says: “This isn't a vote on whether I like this particular project. It's a vote on whether this project meets the code. We don't get the benefit of just picking and choosing the projects that are allowed in this city. If they meet the code, we have a legal obligation to allow them.”

    After almost eight hours of public testimony, the Lake Oswego City Council sat poised Wednesday night to render its verdict on one of the most contentious and controversial redevelopment projects to hit the city in more than a decade.
    The choice facing the council: Uphold or overturn the Development Review Commission's rejection of developer Patrick Kessi's plan to build a 290,000-square-foot, mixed-use development at the corner of A Avenue and First Street in downtown Lake Oswego.
    At issue is a proposal from Kessi's Evergreen Group LLC to replace the former home of Wizer's Oswego Foods with three four-story buildings. The development would include 207 residential units and about 36,000 square feet of retail space.
    In August, the DRC rejected Kessi's plan by a 3-2 vote, saying it did not reflect downtown Lake Oswego’s “village character” and its requirement for "small-scale structures"; that the residential/commercial split Kessi proposed was not appropriate for the city’s so-called “compact shopping district” as defined by the Urban Design Plan; and that it violated code restrictions on ground-floor residential use in the city's core.
    Kessi appealed that ruling in late August, and the City Council set aside three nights this week to hear public testimony and make its own decision.

    A bitter pill

    A Bitter Pill


    After a panel of experts on the Development Review Commission voted to deny the Wizer Block application, Wednesday night, a group of 5 elected lay people on the City Council decided to reverse that decision.
    • Which body was most likely to be the best informed about codes and least likely to be swayed by politics and public opinion?  
    • Which body has members who have had prior relationships with members of the applicant team, and can be expected to continue to use their services? 
    • Which body spent their time lecturing, admonishing and informing the public rather than deliberating among themselves about their reasoning?  
    • After 20 minutes, was there any doubt which way any of the Councilors would vote - or did the public expect (and deserve) a spirited debate on the merits of the testimonials they heard?  
    Where are we now?

    In hindsight, it should have been evident what the result would be given the Hired Guns' high level of confidence in a favorable decision on Wednesday night.  It is rare that a City Council will overturn a quasi-judicial decision made by experts.  A policy decision is another matter.  It appears that testimony by the opposition was a farce that opponents had to go through to get to LUBA, but it was a bitter pill nonetheless.  How did this Council turn out to be so much like the previous one where rules are manipulated to favor a particular agenda?  They fell into the trap of the self-serving Kessi group who have been twisting code and manipulating people since the beginning.

    The tragedy here is not only the trajectory of the physical space we call our home - but how we are allowing others to define it for us - with some of those people being paid with our tax dollars.  A number of years ago, the city, local citizens and a developer (Barry Cain),
                 worked collaboratively 
    to design a project, Lake View Village, that has been the jewel the city has proudly pointed to as an example of what they intended for the future of downtown.  We got here together.  Millennium Park, a key element of downtown development, would ultimately raise the value of Gene Wizer's land.  We did that too.  It is sad to think that the promise that block has to offer the city - a gem to match the success next door - is being squandered, along with trust in city hall.  For what?

    It is a tragedy that the same developer who worked so hard mor than a decade ago, and some of the same citizens are now fighting a similar battle, with the city now sitting on the other side of the fence.  Rules that were in place in 2002 and 2005 and  kept previous projects in check with regard to mass and scale and the intent and description in the UDP for this to be a small-scale village.  The rules have not changed.  Only the people in city hall have.

    The DRC understood the intent and interpretation of the codes that call for a small-scale city, but the code has become a political football: stick to the original plan, or move into the Age of Metro, high density and big-box warehouses for people with commercial success and utopian vibrancy.
    Let's destroy all our towns and villages to be part of this generation's version of grand, unrealistic Utopian, Smart Growth schemes that generously rewards developers, but not their neighbors.  The Central Planners' hubris is their confidence to predict the future and control human nature.  Only totalitarian governments can change human behavior by force - they have not yet been able to change the human heart.

    Battle of the Block: Day 3

    The Battle to Save The Village

    Chapter 3

    "The Wrath of The Gods"

    On the third night, the Gods assembled to deliberate over the human quarrels.  Their decisions were not complicated by what they had heard.  Both the Appellants and the  Townsfolk had made their pleas - one confident and defiant, the other urgent and desperate.  There were many who had much to gain and many with a lot to lose.

    The Gods roared to one another, each taking on the claims of 

    one side or the other, but five had previously been in consort with the Appellant Army so were blind to the town.  This would not be like previous decisions which had taken many hours of argument by a group of learned men.  

    Thunder clapped and and the Heavens shook!  

    The decision was revealed quickly, for the Gods had been persuaded months before which side would be victorious.  "We have decided!"  bellowed the Greatest God.  "The Appellant Army will bring to this village many good things, and the People must give up their petty notions of a quiet village and step aside for progress to happen."   

    "We knew it!"  the Generals cried out, and a cheer could be heard from their Army of investors who would gain much in the bargain.  "Now you must allow us to build our big houses and populate your small town!"  It was a wonder that the swords they brandished so fiercely in assault and victory did not draw actual blood.  

    The Townsfolk could have stayed in Evergreen Wood and not wasted their breath or hope that powerful Gods would help them, though two had tried.  "You have ruined our beautiful town," they wailed.  "You should have protected us for our defenses are few against the Appellant's might."  But the Gods had already withdrawn to the Dark Heavens to escape the result of their intervention, their own peace achieved. 

    How long will Evergreen Wood stay intact?  How long before good people - good friends and
    neighbors - began to look for villages where the people had put up barriers to the destruction of their towns.  A town without a citizenry ready to defend her is worth nothing.  The quaint towns hamlets in graceful dells and along peaceful lakes were being overrun by the Hoards, and whole regions were being laid to waste as the Appellant Army and their ilk marched through.  Where there had once been pleasant, friendly villages - that had attracted the attention of the Generals in the first place - there would be left the stink of vibrancy and chaos when they left.   
    But by that time, Generals had their lucre and had retreated to their protected enclaves, safe from the rabble they would bring to these villages.  That was the order of men and their greed.  And the meek were pawns to be moved at their will.  

    Tonight the townsfolk would weep and cry out, but only to each other, because they had been abandoned by all others.  

    Was there any chance left that this terrible rending of a village would not come to pass?  It
    was an unchartered path that lay ahead, and it would take more time and coin than the Townsfolk knew.  Leave, surrender, or make a final stand against the powerful Hoards and their Gods?  

    Tomorrow.  They would decide tomorrow.

    Opponents to take case to court

    Lake Oswego City Council approves redevelopment plan

    Opponents plan to take case to court after meeting on Oct. 7

    LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — After days of testimony, Lake Oswego’s City Council approved a plan Wednesday evening to re-develop the “Wizer Block.”

    It took about an hour for council members to decide the fate of the iconic grocery store, which will now be demolished. Within three years, a new commercial and residential complex could be opened.

    “We will go the distance. This is a fight worth fighting for and there are many citizens who support our position and we do feel the codes were violated,” said opponent Lita Gregg.

    However, Kessi maintains his position that the plan complies with the code and is compatible with neighbors, completing Lake Oswego’s downtown vision.

    The city attorney said the council can formally adopt Wednesday evening’s ruling at its next meeting on Oct. 7.

    After that meeting, the opposition has 21 days to challenge the decision to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals.

    Lake Oswego City Council approves redevelopment plan

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    Developers fight to redevelop

    Developer still fighting to redevelop old Wizer building

    LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — In a matter of days, the fate of Lake Oswego’s Wizer Block may be decided. The longtime battle to re-develop the area downtown turned into a showdown Monday between the developer and city council members.

    In July, the [Development Review] commission denied the plan, in part, because it doesn’t fit the downtown design plan. However, Kessi said his recent revisions resemble the village-style along with fewer apartments and more retail space. Still, the scaled-down plan doesn’t appease one neighborhood association.

    “They can do some residential, maybe 35 – 40 units would be fine,” said Jim Boland with the LO Neighborhood Action Committee. “But [the plan] should flip. It should be about 80% retail.”
    The $93-million design is four-stories with 207 apartments that Kessi told the crowd meets the city’s standards, but the commission changed the standards.

    In an email to KOIN 6 News Tuesday, Tim Swearingen of Save Our Village, the organization opposed to the plan, said they encourage redevelopment in the area.

    “We do not welcome the over-development of the Wizer block into a high-density apartment complex that will change the character of Lake Oswego forever,” Swearingen wrote.

    The council could make its decision Wednesday that would affirm, overturn or send the plan back to the commission for more discussion.

    SEE VIDEO AT KOIN WEBSITE (link above)

    Developer still fighting to redevelop old Wizer building

    Battle of the Block: Day 2

    The Battle to Save the Village

    Chapter 3

    "Day Two: The Town Speaks"

    The second eve of the second sun brought forth the Townsfolk with their parchments from which they read.  And the Gods appeared so to listen to their pleas.  And, just like the Appellant Army before them, the Townsfolk tried to convince the Gods of the reasonability of their arguments.  

    The Appellants were not of the town they argued.  When they finished building the giant houses in the Town Center, and their money was safely in their purses, they would be gone.
     It was the Villagers who would be left to deal with what the Appellants had brought to

    their town - the good and the bad - but they could find little that was good enough that would outweigh the trouble and heartache the intrusion would cause.   

    The land in the Town Center could offer so much more to the town, and the Appellants could still take away purses of gold and silver coin, so why bring these problems to this Village's doorstep?  

    Could they not go to the market town on the river's edge 15 miles beyond?   Besides, they said, others had tried to build the big houses 10 years before and the Gods had not let them, so why would they let them now?  

    The Appellants spoke up against the Townspeople.  They were outraged and said.  "We read your laws and we can do all you ask.  It is your duty to allow us to have our way!" cried the generals.  They would not listen to any of the town's problems, but turned their arguments around as if to show that the people were foolish and mistaken.   

    Only the Gods could settle this battle before blood was spilt and more coin was spent in argument.  Besides, they had been listening to the quarreling in the Village for a long time now, and they wanted to be done with it.  Hopefully this would be the last time the Gods would have to deal with this chaos! 

    The darkest part of the night drew near, and the Gods again called for rest. 

    "Tomorrow," they said. "Come back tomorrow and we will give you our decision."