Wapato 2.0

The "redevelopment" geniuses in Portland's absurd city government are doubling down on their position that they won't allow a managed homeless camp to be sited on the derelict Main Post Office property. They're determined to let the huge parcel of city-owned real estate sit empty until maybe, someday, some weasels will put condos and offices there.

This is the same kind of stubbornness that the county displayed when it refused to let its never-used Wapato Jail be converted into a homeless shelter. Now private hands have turned Wapato into a perfectly good homeless shelter. One that's about to expand.

There's always some excuse. With the Post Office property, the latest lines are (a) it's contaminated, and (b) the Postal Service still has a small operation there, and they need to get trucks in and out.

If it's so contaminated, you wonder why hundreds of postal workers were allowed to spend 40 hours a week there over many decades. And it's such a sprawling site that you just know that the truck issue could easily be solved, if the "prosperity" crew wanted to solve it.

The downtown business folks who want the trash and the trashy swept off the sidewalks in front of their properties are calling the situation Wapato 2.0. And they are exactly right.

Remember when the city was going to site six managed camps around town any day now? Rumor has it that that's down to three now, and they won't be opened until after the holidays.

What is missing among the city dunderheads is any sense of urgency, any sense of how irretrievably the city is being lost. It gets worse, and a decent reovery more improbable, every day.

At least Sharon Meieran, the county commissioner who's running for county chair, is saying the right words. We have a $2.1 billion 10-year budget for homelessness, and what are we accomplishing? So far, nothing. There is no plan. There is no timeline. Just endless dithering amid the never-ending condo pipe dreams.


  1. What are you going to do? Vote them out?? And replace them with what??? The elected leaders, government officials, and developer weasels know that the Portland electorate will never do that. And so there is zero incentive to reform.

  2. I think if the business people put up some decent candidates, the grownups could take the city back. But nobody with a brain and guts wants to do it.

  3. Too bad Bill McCormick is dead his time had finally come, but alas too late.

    1. Short of doing the Singapore build public housing thing / super constrain the choices / soft pro-business defacto dictatorship rule that isn't outright corporate rule, what are the examples?

      Scappoose/columbia county there was still the big timber mill that went along to form the PUD in 1999 & dropped power rates by 1/3 in a few years and eliminated the corporate phone tree, but not as many people to manage or entrenched go-betweens between finance & contractors and blood sucking idiot cousins or unemployables like Sam Adams.

      Portland needs more like that, and there's still industry in Mult. Co at all, but they probably don't want to back something if larger outside corporations or patronage consultants are going to re-brand and capture it, or drown it out in noise / waving the bloody shirt and grandstanding, respectively.

      Even the 'promise not much' & keep the developer weasels somewhat at bay and Vera Katz little remora somewhat scrubbed off the portland ship that was Tom Potter 'chill out' session doesn't sound bad, though he's ancient and doubt he's up to the 10 head hydra of problems we have now.

  4. ...'contaminated'...that's rich
    ...yeah, living under freeway overpass/along side the freeway in a canyon with benzine, brake dust, heavy metal from cat converters, tire rubber, & diesel fumes isn't?

    Add piss & poop, wet smoky firewood, portable generator loud finnicky non emissions compliant carbed small gas engine compared to a vehicle engine subject to ~10 year federal mandate implied chassis warranties, with tight tolerances & quality control & emissions & noise regulations for passenger cars or similar, needles, & garbage.

    They've got $$$ for a $$$ excavation company for the giant boulder field along 13th there by I405. Wouldn't want any tents adjacent to the $6 (&up, lord knows how high it can go for actual food) hipster beer joints/ micro-brew pubs, tonier loft shopping experience & tax cheat / no yard maintenance luxury loft rich & retiree condo & HOA crowd. Or along PSU's patronage farm team where more monied parents might visit & have to walk past a camp or people might ask questions while viewing intern / student's grown up lego or ship's in a bottle city plans...wouldn't want that.

    Call up Kitzhaber's wife's contractor team and get them to drop some eco blocks & boulders in there! What's the question again? Amazing they didn't need a whole team of urban consultants and 'planners' for that decision or to hold up avg joe's permits for years while they wet their beaks / spy on you and demand you turn your whole mundane project inside out for minor repairs / the gestapo.
    For me, but not for thee...

  5. Look at the bright side, if they leave it until the next riot, maybe it'll get burned down, all that asbestos dust that late 50s-early 70s buildings are full of & lead paint will go everywhere and they can declare a 'state of emergency' and get it taken down at tax payer expense instead of private companies or owners having to bother with pesky permits, demolition costs or anyone looking into 'proper disposal' (whatever you think of that phrase)?


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