Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Water shortage?

I guess my eyes weren't fooling me after all.  

The Clackamas River is running very low right now, and given that we won't get into our rainy season for another 4-5 months, the drought is here to stay.  How low will the water go, and what does our future look like with a "shared" water supply?  

And we haven't even begun to "share" our water yet.  Actually, share isn't the right term since we sold away our rights to our water.  Tigard now has control/ownership over some portion of our water, but I am not sure how the proportions work out in a drought condition.  

Will we have enough water for Lake Oswego residents and businesses who are here NOW?  

How can Lake Oswego responsibly approve more development when water security is not guaranteed for current citizens?   Putting more people and water users into the city is irresponsible.  

Should we start thinking of a moratorium on residential developments (particularly high-density)?  

The not-so-amusing thing about this mess is that the Hammerstad/Hoffman administrations sought and signed on to the deal to facilitate the development of Foothills and Stafford.  Any school child could predict what is happening now:  In summer, the river levels go down and there is less water available for fish and human use.  The Clackamas River is a finite resource and cannot support new development desired by politicians.  The LOTWP was a bad deal from the start and there were plenty of voices telling the powers-that-be to stop, but no one was listening.  

I hear people talk about the LOTWP purchasing water from Portland to make up for the water the Clackamas River can't provide.  This added expense can only be made up only one way - through our water rates. Don't they know how people struggle to pay their water bills now?  And now we pay more for Tigard's new citizens, and maybe ours?  This stinks.  

This is what blind ambition looks like.

Lake Oswego issues Stage 1 alert, urges residents to reduce water use

'Voluntary call to action' comes in response to below-normal levels on the Clackamas River

Lake Oswego has issued a Stage 1 alert in response to below-normal water levels on the Clackamas River and is urging residents to conserve and lower water use this summer.
“The City of Lake Oswego wants to be proactive and raise awareness by asking our customers to conserve water during the dry summer months,” says Kari Duncan, the city’s water treatment plant manager. “It’s important to monitor our usage this summer and reduce needless waste.”
Most of Oregon is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. Lake Oswego gets its water from the Clackamas River, where summer flows are sustained largely by creeks and streams that originate from aquifers. But Duncan says the river’s flow is currently below normal, prompting what she calls “a proactive, voluntary call to action.”
Some of Duncan’s tips to reduce usage:
• Adjust sprinklers so that they only water the lawn or plants that they are intended to water and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.
• Keep a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator, so it’s already cold.
• Only run full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine.
• Turn the water off when brushing teeth or shaving.
• Shorten shower times to five minutes (timers are available for free on the third floor of City Hall).
• Replace older toilets (rebates are available online at www.ci.oswego.or.us/publicworks/water-conservation-program).
• Take off one day of watering from irrigation schedules.
• Water shrubs only if needed (soil moisture probes are available for free on the third floor of City Hall).
• Use a broom instead of a water hose to sweep up debris or clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.
• Wash cars on the lawn and use a nozzle with a shutoff (available for free on the third floor of City Hall) or use a commercial car wash, which recycles its water.
Duncan says the city and other providers of water from the Clackamas River will continue to monitor river levels to determine if further reduction measures or mandatory restrictions become necessary.
For more information on the water alert or for tips to easily reduce water use, including free water audits, visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/publicworks/water-conservation-program.

Lake Oswego asking residents to voluntarily conserve water

The Oregonian, June 29, 2015  By Brad Schmidt

The city of Lake Oswego this week will begin asking residents to voluntarily conserve water.

The unusual request comes amid sweltering June weather and lower-than-average stream flow along the Clackamas River.

But California this is not.

Officials are following protocols set back in 2008 and say no one needs to let their plants or grass die.

"It's voluntary," said Kari Duncan, who manages the city's water treatment plant. "We're hopeful we won't go into further curtailment."

This marks just the second time that Lake Oswego has implemented a voluntary, Stage 1, alert. The first alert, issued at least five years ago, was for mechanical reasons – not the weather.

Duncan said the Clackamas River's flow is now about 900 cubic feet per second, less than half the typical volume of 1,910. Lake Oswego takes its drinking water from the Clackamas River.

Lake Oswego will officially publicize the conservation request later this week. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pilot takes stunning aerial photos

Pilot turned Instagram star takes stunning aerial photos around the world
The Business Insider, June 26, 2015. By Jack Sommer

Pilot / Photographer:  Adam Senatori

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Public housing a waste

But didn't we already know that?  
Remove private property from the property tax rolls.  Pay many times more per housing unit than necessary.  Concentrate poverty (even with mixed income housing).  With mixed income housing, expensive, government-subsidized housing units go to renters who do not need any benefits - a real crime.  Disrupt organic development of area.   Why do we do this?

Who benefits from public housing? 
~ Redevelopment agency staff ~ Housing agency staff ~ Building contractors and unions ~ Non-profit management services ~ Real estate professionals ~ Bond traders and other financial services ~ Consultants, architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, other professional services ~ Developers who receive direct and indirect subsidies ~ Low-income NGO personnel that replicate services available locallyN~ Renters who are likely to stay in the units for decades, eschewing income opportunities that might disqualify them for aid

Who pays for it?  
The U.S. taxpayer ~ Local and state taxpayers ~ NGO contributors

Who gets kicked in the teeth?
The people who struggle to make ends meet, pay market rate for housing, and pay taxes to house others who live in housing better than they can afford.

Section-8 Alternative
Lower cost per family for rental unit -~ Ability to house more families due to lower per-unit costs ~ Low income population is dispersed and integrated with market-rate units ~ Choice of where renter wants to live, not restricted to government housing units ~ More popular with low-income clients ~ Safe surroundings; tenants screened for behavior and crime backgrounds ~ Low administration and costs since housing ownership and management is private ~ Property produces taxes for local governments ~ No maintenance for housing units, all taken care of by private owner ~ All personnel who work on the property are employed privately and not on public pension and benefit plans ~ No construction, neighborhood disruption, inflated or deflated land prices, consultants, political finagling, etc. ~ Taxpayer gets more bang for buck, pays for housing at minimum cost

Whenever you hear about public housing (government-supported low-income housing units), remember, it isn't a housing program, it's 1) am employment program, and 2) a social-engineering program.  Except for special needs populations, it should be against the law.  

Philadelphia to seize 1,330 Properties for Redevelopment
Forbes, June 26, 2015  By Scott Beyer
Another problem is that the plan, rather than adding to city coffers, as private developments do, will be a net loss to heavily-indebted Philadelphia (not to mention U.S. Taxpayers).  ... Phase I will include the construction of 57 affordable rental units for $21 million, or $368,000 per unit - an astounding cost for low-income housing.  In total, the plan will have 10 phases that include housing, retail, and a new Philadelphia Housing Agency headquarters.  This will cost $500 million and because much of the land is publically owned, will generate little property tax revenue.

...the worst thing about the plan is that it's being overseen by the very agency that blighted the area.  For decades, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, like so many other top-down urban development bureaucracies, has been notorious for waste, corruption, mismanagement, and for delivering poorly-run, substandard complexes that degrade their surrounds.

The "Afters" all look pretty much the same - spiffed up buildings, street trees, new paving and striping - this one lacks sidewalk cafes, but maybe they are in the after-the-after images.  Besides the fact that the (private?) buildings need money to fix up, can't the city put in the street trees and do some basic improvements  now?  Oh well.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

How are the fish doing?

It's a scorcher out there!  101 degrees predicted for today, and it's only June.  

Have you seen the Clackamas River lately?  
It looks like August. Portland has had it's first brush fire and no fireworks or tiki torches allowed.   

This was January:
The Times, January 7, 2015 By Geoff Pursinger
Court sides with Water Watch in Clackamas River case
Under terms of the [Clackamas River water] permits, Lake Oswego is allowed to draw up to 59 cubic feet per second from the river.  The city currently draws 28 cubic feet per second.  Plans were made for the remaining 31 cubic feet per second to be shared with Tigard as part of the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership.

Project Director Joel Komerak said Tuesday (January 5, 2025) that taps are expected to begin running Tigard-Lake Oswego water in summer 2016.

"We don't believe the decision from the Court [of Appeals] will impact the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership project or our planning for a sustainable responsible water supply," he said.

Under the law' cities and water districts have to leave enough water in the rivers or struggling and protected fish.  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife indicated that struggling fish would need 650 cubic feet per second of river flow in summer and 800 cubic feet per second in fall for spawning salmon.

This is Today:
June 27, 2015.
USGS Water Resources: National Water Information System

Tables above:  Top is water flow at Oregon City, bottom is river at Estacada.

Friday, June 26, 2015

GWPF: Open Atmospheric Society

Check out this website from the UK:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Skeptics Set Up Scientific Society To Escape Journals That ‘Keep Out’ Dissenters

  • Date: 20/06/15

Some scientists and meteorologists have banded together to create their own scientific organization so they can study, publish and engage in science debates they argue mainstream scientific bodies don’t want to have.

The Open Atmospheric Society was founded to “give you a voice where other societies may not.” The group is meant to be an alternative to traditional scientific societies that have members who are actively trying to shut out scientific debate, according to OAS founder Anthony Watts.
“In 2009, with the release of the Climategate e-mails we saw a disturbing revelation: a small clique of scientists were actively trying to keep out scientific papers that gave other viewpoints on climate,” Watts, a meteorologist who is skeptical of man-made global warming, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Indeed, one of the leaked Climategate emails between U.S. and UK scientists talked about how they would keep skeptics from publishing any papers. A 2004 email from University of East Anglia Climatologist Phil Jones told a fellow U.S. scientist that “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” referring to two papers authored by skeptical scientists.
“Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” Jones stated.
“That sort of gatekeeping and replication problem still exists today, with papers that don’t follow the political narrative on climate often being rejected,” Watts said.
- See more at: http://www.thegwpf.com/skeptics-set-up-scientific-society-to-escape-journals-that-keep-out-dissenters/#sthash.sfuQZobI.dpuf

Mother Earth and the Enlightenment

Apocalyptic fear, Buckner says, "transforms us into children, 
ready to obey the orders of the enlightened." 

Book Review:  The Fanatacism of the Apocalypse
eprints.lse.ac.uk  By Amelia Sharman June 13, 2013

The planet is sick and human beings have to pay.

The most recent in a series of books examining f ear and guilt, The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse is the newest publication f rom Pascal Bruckner, a French philosopher who rose to notice during the 1970s as part of the anti-Marxist ‘new philosophers’.

Offering a ‘take no prisoners’ attack on what he terms the “ecology of disaster” (p.184), Brucker argues that the dominant theme of contemporary environmentalist discourse has become that of an inescapable environmental catastrophe with a central aim to instill fear into the hearts of the masses. As the f ear of communism has collapsed, our new adversary is ourselves, as we become framed as the enemy of nature.

He argues that “ecologism has become a global ideology” that, in succeeding Marxism with a similar blend of “fatalism and activism” (p.18-19), requires us to believe in a coming apocalypse in a quasi-religious manner. This, ironically, echoes the climate sceptic trope of the ‘Church of Global Warming’, whereby scientists and others are said to ‘believe’ in the reality of climate change because it supports their paycheck, akin to evangelical preachers found with their hands in church funds. It is therefore no surprise that Bruckner’s thesis has been welcomed by sceptical organisations, and that he was the guest of the UK’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, delivering a presentation on his book in April 2013 at the House of Lords.  (See video link below)


VIDEO: Global Warming Policy Foundation, April 29, 2013  

Pascal Bruckner - The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse: Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings

French philosopher Pascal Bruckner gives a GWPF talk at the House of Lords on his new book, 'The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse', introduced by Benny Peiser with concluding remarks from Nigel Lawson.

Short (34 min.) video of a talk by Pascal Bruckner - worth watching ! ! !


Pascal Bruckner: Apocalyptic Daze

  • Date: 16/04/12  (general summary of Bruckner's GWPF talk on video link above)
Secular elites prophesy a doomsday without redemption.
As an asteroid hurtles toward Earth, terrified citizens pour into the streets of Brussels to stare at the mammoth object growing before their eyes. Soon, it will pass harmlessly by—but first, a strange old man, Professor Philippulus, dressed in a white sheet and wearing a long beard, appears, beating a gong and crying: “This is a punishment; repent, for the world is ending!”

We smile at the silliness of this scene from the Tintin comic strip L’√Čtoile Myst√©rieuse, published in Belgium in 1941. Yet it is also familiar, since so many people in both Europe and the United States have recently convinced themselves that the End is nigh. This depressing conviction may seem surprising, given that the West continues to enjoy an unparalleled standard of living. But Professor Philippulus has nevertheless managed to achieve power in governments, the media, and high places generally. Constantly, he spreads fear: of progress, of science, of demographics, of global warming, of technology, of food. In five years or in ten years, temperatures will rise, Earth will be uninhabitable, natural disasters will multiply, the climate will bring us to war, and nuclear plants will explode. Man has committed the sin of pride; he has destroyed his habitat and ravaged the planet; he must atone. 
- See more at: http://www.thegwpf.com/pascal-bruckner-apocalyptic-daze/#sthash.OGWtrwu2.dpuf


Weekly Standard, August 5, 2013  By Steven Hayward
Book Review:

Mere Ecologism?
Is modern environmentalism science or faith?

… But just as Bruckner came to understand that Marxism was a perversion of—or an obstacle to—achieving greater justice for the dispossessed, he regards “ecologism,” as he labels the dominant tendencies of environmental thought, as the virtual successor to Marxism, and believes it to be just as potentially degrading, if not tyrannical. 
He writes: “In the wrong hands, the best of causes can degenerate into an abomination”—which is exactly what Bruckner thinks has happened to environmentalism. 
Ecologism has become a global ideology that covers all of existence, modes of production as much as ways of life. In it are found all the faults of Marxism applied to the environment: the omnipresent scientism, the appalling visions of reality, the admonishment of those who are guilty of not understanding those who wish us well. All the foolishness of Bolshevism, Maoism, and Trotskyism are somehow reformulated exponentially in the name of saving the planet.
He notes that “Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. .  .  . With ecologism, we move up a notch: the guilty party is humanity itself.” The result is a domain of thought and action today that rewards vehemence over sensibility. This is not a new theme; the “watermelon” label—green on the outside, red on the inside—has been applied to environmentalists for a while. Likewise, Bruckner joins in seeing environmentalism as a secular religion. But Bruckner captures more of the depth and texture of these two aspects of environmentalism than do other critics. 

Three tree tales

Today's Lake Oswego Review has several stories about trees and Lake Oswego's tree codes.  What, besides trees, would get Lake Oswegans this excited?  Can anyone remember the days before tree codes, when trees were the responsibility of the land owner and not something one's neighbors or the city got involved in?

So here we are - looking at trees from 3 different sets of eyes, with City Hall directing the view.

Tree Stories
Often-told tales from Lake Oswego

1.  Fixing Sidewalks
(Letter to the Editor by Sandy Thorsen, Lake Oswego Review, June 25, 2015)
    We did not plant the street trees in front of our home.  We are required to maintain them, which we have no problem doing, but one of the trees is lifting the sidewalk and causing a safety issue.
    The roots are sitting on top on the ground, because a cement contractor used the area to clean his trucks during neighborhood construction.  The roots have nowhere to go, and we believe any tree planted in the location would be affected the same.
    The city was kind enough to come out and grind the sidewalk down, which did help.  But we are not allowed to remove the tree and replace it (we tried that), and in the future we may be liable to fix the sidewalk.
    Why should a homeowner fix a sidewalk problems related by a tree that was not planted by them and cannot be removed?

 2.   Sidewalk Construction on State Street
(Lake Oswego Review, City Notes, June 25, 2015)

    Sidewalk improvements on the west side of State Street between A and B Avenues started last week with tree removal, saw cutting and the demolition of the sidewalks.
    When finished, improvements to the area will include 8-foot-wide ADA-compliant sidewalks, brick accents, landscaping with new street trees, decorative railings and street lights.

3.  Neighbors Unite to Save Trees
First Addition residents say they're concerned about increasing toll development is taking 
(Lake Oswego Review, June 25, 2015, By Cliff Newell)

    Neighbors say the cutting of trees has drastically increased recently in order to make way for large homes, and they beieve something very valuable is being lost.
    "The trees of First Addition are a major asset for our neighborhood," Gustafson said.  Added Andy Clark, "This is a unique place.  There are many trees here that are 100 years old."
   "Are our voices being heard?" asked Cheryl Ogburn.  "We see tree after tree coming down.  Are people making reasonable efforts to preserve trees if they can be preserved?  Is there a set plan for building houses with no consideration for trees?"

The messages in these stories are both contradictory and clear:

 Responsible property owners are prohibited from responsibly by an illogical and rigid City Hall.
2.  The City may remove trees on one side of State Street because of extreme damage to the sidewalks, but Sandy Thorsen cannot.  Neither can the property owner on the east side of State St. preemptively remove the same damaging tree species from in front of their property, even though they have requested to do so and even though the city maintenance department agrees.  City Hall has one set of rules when they want to do something, and private property owners have another.  Will the City assume responsibility for the safety and repair issues caused by damage to infrastructure caused by street trees?
3.  Developers have one set of rules regarding tree removal and average citizens have another.  Developers should be required to follow more restrictions regarding tree removal than existing homeowners in order to preserve neighborhood character, just as they must now follow building design standards to do the same.  The equation is flipped in the wrong direction.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Defying death on Portland's roads

Lying with Statistics
Steve Novick's shameless propaganda-filled bid for a Swedish-style car policy

OPB reported yesterdat (June 17, 2015) that the Portland City Council is touting dire statics about Portland's high traffic death rates as reason to fund major traffic-calming projects to decrease speed and increase the safety of automobiles in Portland.  They are torn between making roads safer and making them drivable.  Should Portland spend money on its backlog of road paving, or continue Portland's European make-over to bike-and-ride instead?

Portland Coty Council voted to adopt Sweden's "Vision Zero" program to Nd all traffic fatalities within 10 years with strategies like road design and lower speed limits.  There are some good aspects of the safety program, but let's be straight about the facts and motivations before buying into the validity of a problem or suggested solutions.

OPB News, June 17, 2015 By Amelia Templeton
Portland aims to eliminate traffic fatalities - Funding TBD
Here's a question: which city has a higher rate of traffic deaths per capita, Portland or New York?  If you guessed Portland, you're right.  On average, a littler more than 6 people out of 100,000 die on the road in Portland, compared to about 4 per 100,000 in New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What they all forgot to mention is the rate of public transit riders per capita in New York compared to Portland.  Over 30% of New York commuters travel by public transit, compared to about 7% in Portland.  I am not a statistician, but could it be that Portland's roads actually safer than New York's given the percentage of people actually using the roads?

US Census:
Traffic fatalities by state for the 20-year period from 1990 to 2009 were down overall and were halved in Oregon, from 2.2 to 1.1.  The state and country are safer places to drive, probably due to safer cars, but no reason was given.

CDC-United States Census and National Vital Statistics System. 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Multi-dwelling development: What is it?

Cluster housing, higher density, creative infill...

There seems to be a "gap" in our develooment codes so that developers cannot build multiple dwellings on a piece of land in the R-0 (high-density) zones.  What the gap really is, and why the city should fill it is a mystery.  The planning department explained that they often get requests from developers to build structures that do not fit into current code, and the city seeks to be "business friendly and provide for a variety of housing types."

I get that developers want to do a lot of things that are not compatible with Lake Oswego neighborhoods and commercial areas, but do we need to change our codes for their benefit?  Uh, no.  Will housing be affordable just because it is multi-family or smaller?  Uh, no.

As for business-friendly, there is a myth that Lake Oswego codes are particularly unfriendly to developers.  This is not true.  Like a lot of other things, this is an issue that is being used to manipulate the system, and us, for a particular, business-friendly outcome.

Here is what was brought before the Planning Commission in a public hearing on Monday night:

"To provide flexibility for development in multi-family dwelling zones to include smaller individual structures containing fewer than three units, the code amendments propose a new "multi-dwelling development" use, which would permit a grouping of individual residential structures where each structure contains at least one unit.  This could include a combination of one, two and three-unit (multi-family) structures, a group of two-unit duplex-type structures, or other combinations.  As with multi-family dwellings, the land underneath the structures would not be divided into separate lots."

What would this new land use type mean?
Developers would be able to shoe-horn in more dwelling units than currently possible into city lots in places and configurations not compatible with neighborhood character or functionality (parking, traffic, housing styles, etc.  We might see:
  • Skinny houses (two separate, narrow houses side-by-side on a city lot)
  • Tiny houses (small houses typically under 800 SF, but can be as low as 200 SF)
  • Micro units (very small studio units connected to larger apartments, or a series of micro units)
  • Cluster housing (also called courtyard housing and pocket neighborhoods - a group of housing units grouped together on one lot)
  • Cottage housing (small, cottage-style homes, typically less than 800 SF footprint clustered together on one lot)
  • Cottage clusters (see above)
  • Higher density (accessory dwelling units turned into rentals, more housing units per lot)
  • Single lots could be condo-ised with attached and detached condos, or could be all rentals or a combination of home-owner and non-family rentals.  
  • Multiple unintended, but predictable, consequences (crowding, lack of off-street and on-street parking, intrusion into established neighborhoods and impact on neighbors, etc.)
Nothing was said in the public hearing about any of these things.  Some might be OK, but some would be a nightmare.  The devil is always in the details, but there were NO details here!

Think about this:
  • There is no minimum size for dwelling units or dwelling structures in Lake Oswego.
  • There is no maximum limit to the number of housing units in multi-family zones.  
Here is a REAL CASE in the First Edition happening NOW:
6 row houses are planned for 4th Ave. between B and C Ave.  There will be studio spaces over the garages. With current code, the spaces can be offices or granny flats for family members.  The developer, knowing about the possibility a new multi-dwelling development code might be approved, has held up his project so that he might make the above-garages apartments, making the 6-unit project 12-units instead.  Unintended maybe, but the density will double automatically - if this code changes is approved.  Unanswered is the question of potential amenity bonuses.  (yuk)

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed not to recommend this portion of ORD 2667.  If you think this plan is not ready for prime time, let the City Council know any time.  There will be a public hearing coming up on this soon - Mark your comments as testimony for LU 15-0010 / ORD 2667.   

For your viewing pleasure:  Prefabs, tiny house community, cottage clusters, skinny houses... See above for other types and cross-over types of multi-family housing that might be used in multi-dwelling developments.  Note:  All homes would have to meet LO building codes.  

Summer reading list

What's on your nightstand?  

Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems that major code changes and land use plans tend to get revved up in the summer - right when city councilors, citizens, and board and commission members cancel meetings and go on vacation.  The work doesn't stop at City Hall though - plans continue to roll out, and public hearings are held.

It takes some very committed people to take on the task of reading staff reports, researching the issues, watching the calendar for important meetings, and testifying at hearings.  This song is dedicated to those determined souls:

Tune from "Summer Nights" from Grease

Summer coding, had me a blast
Summer coding, happenin' so fast

Summer days, driftin' away, to uh-oh those summer nights

Comp plan's so crazy, so hard to read
Codes are so hazy, what can they mean?

Uh, well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more

Spent the days readin'

Tell me more, tell me more

The nights at more meetings

Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh

Summer readin' don't mean a thing, but uh-oh those summer nights

Summer Reading List 

Comprehensive Plan Audit / Community Development Code Audit - Assess current development codes (Chapter 50) for consistency with current Comp Plan.  Look for items where code does not match the intent of the comp plan, and how the code(s) might be better written.  Written comments should be sent in by 12:00 Noon, July 8 to be distributed to the Planning Commission prior to their July 13 work session so they can review and act on citizen suggestions.
Read the report, and then do your research.  This issue is critical!

Southwest Employment Area Plan (SWEA) - Stakeholder Advisory Meetings are ongoing.  The last meeting was an open session designed to get citizen input prior refining plan options.  The SAC meeting at the end of the public session was rather confused wrangling over what kinds of development should be there and where.  After a SAC member threw out ideas for a hotel and a grocery store on Boones Ferry Rd., an event center  (like Big Al's), mixed use housing, and a food cart pod, the meeting seemed to go off script until the chair brought it back to the core emphasis of employment.  It was emphasized that any retail or food options would be limited and in service to the employees in the district only and should not be a draw on the Lake Grove business district.  It will be interesting to see what the planning consultant comes back with.  Hold onto your seats and keep thinking JOBS - quantity and quality - and retaining an industrial base.

Lake Grove Village Center Parking Management Plan - the Plan should have been compleed by now but ran into a brick wall.  It seems the consultants and technical team in general had a different plan for Lake Grove than did the citizens on the advisory committee, and the consultants were leading the parade.  Not good.  This project has become the model for how not to involve citizens in the planning of their own town - which can be marginal in the best of times.  Hopefully things have been turned around and the revised plans will reflect something relating to a suburban, strip commercial area rather than an idealized "walkable, compact, town center."  Sheesh!  Read the plan and attend the next SAC meeting - request to be informed about the next meeting date in July.  (BTW - what ARE the parking problems in Lake Grove that Need solutions other than one block on Oakridge and the Starbucks...)

Summer days, driftin' away,  uh-oh!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Flower power

Stop and smell the pepsissewa.

I found a rather uncommon wildflower (Menzie's pepsissewa) on a hike yesterday and ID'd it on a new (to me) plant reference site.  If you don't already know about the site and the photographer's book(s), this is one to check out before or after your next foray into the wilds of Oregon or Washington.

It was a wonderful day.


The site:  pnwflowers.com

The book:  Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest
by Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson

The App:  Oregon Wildflowers 
Also one for Washington

Companion book:  Trees and Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest 
By Mark Turner and Ellen Kulhmann


Wizer appeal schedueled: UPDATED

CLARIFICATION:  It seems I was not clear about Evergreen Group's permit for development on the Wizer block.  Evergreen Group (Patrick Kessi and investors) was granted approval by the City Council to build their mega-block.  However, they have not actually applied for any permits to do work on the site, Eg.: demolition, excavation, etc.  Evergreen Group would have to be crazy to begin any construction until all legal challenges are finished.  

The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the
Wizer development appeal on July 15, at 9:00 am in Salem.

This is the third appeal in the land use process.  The "loser" of this round can appeal to the State Supreme Court, but that would be the end of the road.

This is getting to be a nail-biter because Patrick Kessi has approval to begin construction.  But, if he begins to build and the decision is against him...

The race to the finish is on!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oregon flora

This always happens.  I start looking up one thing, and wind up somewhere else.  This place is somewhere you might like to visit.  Have fun!

Oregon Digital

Collections from Oregon State University and 
the University of Oregon 


Oregon Flora

History, Architecture, Linus Pauling, Science, Western Waterways, Fine Arts, Folklore, etc.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Save yourself from disasters

Are you ready for an emergency?  

It seems that talk of emergency preparedness is in the air these days.  The city has hosted a couple of events devoted to earthquakes and how to survive them - the videos are online with links on the city website along with other disaster-related
sites of interest.

Earthquake videos, information on how to prepare your emergency kit - all kinds of great information on this web page.

Emergency Videos and Information.           

For you science nerds, here is a great site for     
all you ever wanted to know about earthquakes!

Lake Oswego Fire Department
The Fire Department offers Citizen Emergency Response Team classes free of charge to anyone who lives or works in Lake Oswego.  When emergency responders are not able to serve the entire city in a disaster, CERT members are in the neighborhoods, ready to help.  Is there a CERT team member living on your street?  Maybe you will be the next CERT volunteer?   See the Fire Department web page for more information.

CERT Training
Use this link,mod just call the Fire Department for information.

Free Fire Extinguisher Classes
The Fire Department will teach the proper use of a fire extinguisher so you are ready in an emergency.  Know which type to use and how and when to use it!