Astro-Turf and other green

I spent a little time last evening with the Hollywood Star News, our ultra-local "shopper" newspaper here in northeast Portland. There's always something in there to raise an eyebrow, along with all the feel-good stuff.

In this month's edition, they have a couple of different pieces about the planned installation of a new softball field, along with lights and a sound system, at Grant High School. The neighbors over that way have held off the lights for many decades, but the train sure seems to be on the track now to have them put in. The suits are selling it as "equity" for the girls' softball team, because there's no field for them at the school. (They now play at Wilshire Park, which is one mile away up 33rd Avenue.) But the school board is also planning to rent the proposed new field out to various Toms, Dicks, and Harrys who have nothing to do with Grant High.

If the neighbors lose the battle, you can be sure those lights will be on until 10:00 at night seven days a week for nine months out of the year. Not to mention the sound system. You can imagine what the nearby residents will be treated to in music choices. And the parking hassles that now end at dark will go on all evening, too. I'm rooting for the neighbors, of course, but this is Portland, where "livability" is a forgotten virtue.

I'll bet the unhappy people will still vote to re-elect this person to the school board, though. Politics in these parts tend to run in the battered-spouse vein.

Meanwhile, up over in the Cully neighborhood, I see that Portland Community College is suddenly in the apartment business. 

With construction set to begin in 2023, Home Forward’s collaboration with Portland Community College and the Cully Association of Neighbors, expects to be accepting tenants by the summer of 2024.

At the corner of Northeast Killingsworth Street and 42nd Avenue, a four-story building will include 18 studio apartments, six one-bedroom, 46 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom units. There will also be 4500 square feet of commercial space for community-based organizations, surrounding two outdoor courtyards.

You have to admire the apartment weasels of Portland. They know how to sniff out the public money. PCC is awash with cash from a couple of ill-advised bond issues. Leave it to the construction and developer sharpies to get a piece of it, via "Home Forward," which is the city housing authority, in charge of the projects. I guess there's going to be some PCC classrooms on the site somewhere, but hey, it's all about the cr-apartments.

PCC could be the new movable real estate scam center, I guess. For a while there I thought it was going to be Tri-Met, which is supposed to spend its ample payroll tax fortune on transportation, but funny thing, also gets into the apartments, too. One unsupervised pot of tax dollars after another – that's Portland. So ripe for the plucking.

Anyway, I see today that the Star News has finally posted all its editions on a decent website, here. They're worth a read, if not for the laughs, then for the mild shots of outrage, which Portlanders eventually learn to find pleasurable.