Cloning the scam

Portland taxpayers, hold on to your wallets. They're talking about "redeveloping" RiverPlace, the area between the Hawthorne and Marquam Bridges on the west side of the Willamette River.

When things get "redeveloped" around here, it almost always means a big handout to the real estate weasels and construction devils from the city taxpayers. "Urban renewal," you know. "Prosperity." A quarter of the city's property tax revenue goes to those guys. Meanwhile, the basics of civilization crumble.

Is it really time to "redevelop" RiverPlace already? I'm old enough to remember when it got "developed" in the first place. It started with the marina and hotel, which went in about 40 years ago. The stuff closer to the Marquam came in much later. It's pretty schlocky, but at least a lot of it's low-rise.

Anyway, I had to laugh when I saw that some of the urban planning and design overlords who have to okay everything are hearing from the neighbors that the plans they've seen so far for RiverPlace are full of "dark, uninviting canyons." Too funny! Dark, uninviting canyons are Portland's specialty. Look at the Pearl District. Look at the South Waterfront (SoWhat) District, just up the river a short walk. Look at the South Auditorium District, just west of Riverplace. Dark, uninviting canyons 'R' us! And have been since the late '60s.

I remember the lies that were told 15 or 20 years ago when they approved the skyscraping monstrosities in SoWhat. No one's views would be lost, because the tall human warehouses would be thin, "like the teeth of a comb." It was all utterly fraudulent. But the weasels had bought Neil Goldschmidt, who was still running the state at the time, and they duped his puppet, Vera Katz. They built it, along with a freaking aerial tram, and it's nothing but "dark, uninviting canyons." Replete with an immigration jail.

The fix was in. As I'm sure it is with respect to RiverPlace. Just give it some time.