The latest buzzwords

I've written previously about the special level of the inferno that awaits the developer weasels and construction dudes who are using Black reparations as the supposed rationale for spending oodles of public money to cover the I-5 freeway near the Rose Quarter to make a place for more of their soulless apartment bunkers and other "mixed use" claptrap. As if those greedy operators cared one whit about the families who were displaced 50 or 60 years ago when the freeway came through. As if their new high-rise schlock will do anything meaningful to honor or benefit the descendants of those who lost their neighborhood. 

Those bunkers will be occupied by the same white hipsters who live in all the projects these guys have slapped up over the past two decades. With a Jersey Mike's and an AT&T store on the ground floor. Maybe there'll be a plaque with Sammy Davis Jr. on it somewhere, since he used to perform and hang out in that 'hood.

Now the exact same line of malarkey – reparations for the urban renewal misdeeds of the '60s ad '70s – is being used to justify the developers' getting their hands on the public school headquarters building over that way, and razing it for more high-rise human warehousing. It's to make it up to the African Americans, they say. 

Oh, and for that property, they don't need a freeway cover, but they'll get tens of millions of tax dollars anyway. Because homeless.

The marsupials and their construction buddies have been drooling over the school board parcel since back in the late 20th Century. But it hasn't been until lately that they've figured out the magic words to get it into their clutches. Now they know: It's "Albina Vision." What a crock. That development may go where the Black people used to live, but just wait and see, it will be about as Black as a Franz extra crispy English muffin.

For more than two decades now, it's been clear that not only are the cr-apartment guys going to be allowed to erect their towers in every close-in neighborhood, but they also are going to get the neighbors to pay for them, one way or another. Just yesterday it was suddenly revealed that the state is going to hand over $25 million of public money to the weasels, just like that, for the school property project.

"There is a lot I'm proud of in the Emergency Housing Stabilization and Production Package, but I’m particularly excited that we will be sending $25 million to the Albina Vision Trust to redevelop the former Portland Public Schools Headquarters," said Sen. [Kayse] Jama who chairs the Senate Housing and Development Committee. "This critical funding will give the state the opportunity to heal the harms of historically racist land-use decisions by investing in the historically Black Albina neighborhood, which has been fractured by redlining and the construction of Interstate 5.”

There's a sucker born every minute. Unfortunately, many of them wind up being elected to represent you and me.

And so the hucksters and construction goons win again. But making this out to be a racial justice thing is evil on their part. If there's a hell below, they're all gonna go.

You've got to hand it to them, though, they don't miss an opportunity. I'm sure they're also looking with lust at the $400 million that Phil Knight has pledged to restore "equity" in Albina. A different nonprofit is doling out that pork. One has to wonder what Knight thinks is going to happen to all that money. By the time the Jersey Mike's opens, he will probably have gone to the Duck Bowl Game in the Sky.


  1. If the argument against rebuilding Harriett Tubman MS is that we shouldn’t allow a school next to I-5 because of the poor air quality (never mind nothing is ever said about Benson HS) why are we allowing more apartments in the uncapped section of that I-5?

  2. Never thought Knight could be mislead on an issue that was extensively reported. I don’t question the good intentions of the gift. But, I’m beginning to question the input he received.

  3. If all of this is to right the wrongs of "historically racist land-use decisions", then the Italians and Jews should get in line for what PDC did in the South Auditorium urban renewal are of SW Portland.

    1. At the very least, a statue of Mrs. Neushin, tenderly admiring her pickle barrel.

    2. Much of inner NW, SW, SE, N, and NE Portland was redlined. Many redlined neighborhoods in N and NE were predominately slavic (poles, czechs), german, and Scandinavian residents at the time they were redlined. Don’t believe me? Look at the maps.

    3. The difference is that the Jews and Italians moved on with their lives. They probably had more respect for education and for two-parent families than the forebears of today's grievance mongers.

    4. "The difference is that the Jews and Italians moved on with their lives. They probably had more respect for education and for two-parent families than the forebears of today's grievance mongers."

      My Italian grandfather, a mason, died young, and so my Italian grandmother did took in laundry to pay the bills while raising six kids while not speaking English very well to the very end. It wasn't respect for education or two-parent families that made the difference though -- it was white skin.

  4. This is white guilt gone amok. You can’t undo something that happened 40-plus years ago, and expect things to revert back to 1970. I am from that general area, and attended Holladay school which is long gone and now a parking lot for Lloyd Center tower. Then off to Irvington, which was once a predominantly black school.

    I saw all of the changes in N/NE Portland from the late 1960’s onward. People moved on, and in most of the cases it wasn’t the fault of the urban planners that caused the exodus of black families from the area.

  5. Putin says he’s gonna nuke the west and destroy the world…this won’t matter.

  6. The Governor has made housing her priority and the developers know that achieve her goals, she will need them. They will use that leverage to score many sweet deal$.

  7. As long as the public feeding troughs are replenished with tax dollars there will be a rush to take advantage of the “free” money.

  8. What? There’s no “Clean Energy Tax” dollars involved?

  9. Man, just kind of makes you sick.
    Not only are they robbing you, but they have to be annoying and sanctimonious about it?

    These buildings aren’t cheaper to maintain or recycle/decconstruct or repurpose them. Modest row houses or street car suburb houses laid out on a grid with alleys.
    Doesn’t help all these people already displaced.

    Doesn’t improve public transit/build elevated high speed metro transit (a lot cheaper than subways, I think they look fine/reduce ground vibrations & aren’t as bad as urban freeways?) and makes an essentially longer distance tunnel that’s a confined space for vehicles that carry their own fuel fire at tremendous cost that they’re leaving some sections of open because they’re too cheap to force-ventilate it.

    A dream only the most parasitic bureaucrats who can get paid on the public dime & live out of reach of taxes & consequences could love along with their developer weasel buddies.

    Get the feds to write down some cost inflation-adjusted of housing interest & payment down off for descendants of those redlined is the only way I can see reparations or something approximating them remotely working?
    Give the benefit, at minimal cost, to the people actually alive who could potentially collect it?

    But that’s not what’s really going on here…
    We’re building shoddy schlock with public land, $ as ‘luxury’ under the guise or reparations or ‘affordable’ housing sans traffic, parking & impact on existing local business studies.

  10. Congrats- we've gone from "historically racist" to "historically dishonest".

  11. So wait, is the school district going to own a building downtown or pay rent?

    Take a low rise building owned free & clear just as the neighborhood comes up a bit & is less dangerous than downtown & shove them downtown pay rent or more expensive & difficult repairs?

    The ultra wealthy make capital gains…wait as interest rates drop & people continue to work from home for absolutely ridiculous levels or scams propping up commercial real estate on the public dime.

    How many sprawling cul-de-sac suburbs & extra tall commercial real estate buildings in downtowns did we build from ~1968 freeway revolts on, that, in the case of commercial tall buildings like the original WTC in NY took years and years to fully occupy if they ever did that can’t be repurposed?

    Fancier Houses in ‘68+ HOA neighborhoods like mountain park aren’t easy to repurpose, are aging out and now sell for about the same or less than 3 bedroom no-HOA houses in lake grove, tall commercial real estate buildings are parking garages are a total liability, downtown centric transit without something like a rapid elevated train Chicago loop that doesn’t get stuck in traffic that can really move doesn’t work too well.

    You know you’re city is messed up when there are empty lots not getting developed, but they’ll rip fairly serviceable houses and neighborhoods & everything around these shiny new monuments is miserable to use for basic services or safety for existing residents with a huge tax burden.

    1. ^dang auto-correct…‘you’re’…good lord!


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