Feb 17, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 22 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
While in the popular Portlandia-inspired imagination, Portland, Oregon, may be nothing but an endless array of organic food shops, “fair-trade” coffee roasters, and “subaltern”-themed, not-for-profit bookstores, Portland is still a midsized American city with the typical problems that midsized cities tend to face. Swaths of northeast Portland, for example, where the lion’s share of Portland’s black population lives, have for decades been beset by high crime, joblessness, and out-and-out blight. Fred Armisen probably frantically locks his car doors if he ever (accidently) ends up driving through the neighborhood.
So it came as good news to the residents of the long-deprived area when it was announced several months ago that a lot which had sat vacant for 20 years would be developed into a shopping center featuring a Trader Joe’s grocery store and up to 10 other smaller retailers. But then the racial agitators struck.
First, the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) announced its opposition to the development on the grounds that it would raise local rents. Then the NAACP got in on the act; in late January, Dedrick Muhammad, the senior director of economic programs for the NAACP, wrote a piece in the Huffington Post opposing the project on the grounds that it could lead to “the displacement of low and moderate-income long-time residents.”
By the PAALF and NAACP’s standards, any economic development—or indeed, prosperity itself—would be bad, because it would undoubtedly push rents up. Do the activists prefer the neighborhood to deteriorate, so that rents would fall further? Muhammad failed to note that Trader Joe’s is famous for its high-quality, low-cost groceries, which would be a boon to the area’s poor residents, not to mention the fact that the contractor that was awarded the project is a black-owned business.
Well, the PAALF and NAACP got their way. Last week, Trader Joe’s announced it would withdraw from the project, citing “negative reactions” from the local community. The company must have heard from different “locals” than the Oregonian newspaper did. When the paper interviewed area residents following Trader Joe’s withdrawal, it found near-universal disappointment. “This is not what the neighborhood people want. This is terrible,” said Kymberly Jeka, echoing a common sentiment. As the locals pointed out, Trader Joe’s would have spurred economic development, provided much-needed jobs to the local community, and offered high-quality groceries at a good price. What part of “advancement” does the NAACP not understand?
Is Jeff Cogen Portland's Weiner or Portland's Ford?1:59 PM, Nov 11, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
It’s a pity that there’s no Portland, Oregon, edition of the New York Post. After all, one can only dream of the headlines the wags at the Post would come up with to describe the ongoing travails of (now former) Multnomah County (home of Portland) Commissioner Jeff Cogen.
Steve Novick strikes again.4:03 PM, Oct 22, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Portland city commissioner (as city councilmen are called in that Oregon city) Steve Novick has never been one to respect the limits of his office - or recognize that it has any limits at all.
'Portland's Weiner' resigns.3:49 PM, Sep 6, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Could we be witnessing a revival of moral standards in our politics?
Sep 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 01 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It's not often that The Scrapbook finds itself defending “graffiti artists.” But when they find themselves on the barrel end of silly and borderline extortionate government regulations, we can’t help but feel solidarity.
1:10 PM, Aug 9, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Portland city commissioner (as city councilmen are known in the Oregon city) Steve Novick may have been elected only last year, but he’s wasted no time in using his public office to indulge his personal crotchets.
Details of county chief’s sordid affair with subordinate emerge.10:08 AM, Jul 25, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Portland is nothing if not tolerant. The picturesque city in the Pacific Northwest has, in recent years, endured one mayor who admitted to a gay affair with an underage intern, a different mayor who claimed residency in Washington state (where there is no income tax) yet voted in Oregon, not to mention downtown streets choked with aggressive transients. (Oh, and the weather's not great either.) But a new scandal must be trying the patience of even the most forgiving denizens of Portlandia.
A Portland, Oregon, city employee is charged with financing terrorism.10:39 AM, Mar 7, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
It’s good to be a government worker in Portland, Oregon. And not just because of the subsidized sex changes. It seems that city workers’ salaries are also ample enough to support a family and . . . finance a little terrorism on the side.
11:02 AM, May 16, 2012 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
A host of liars, miscreants, and extreme leftists – and those were just the serious candidates! – squared off yesterday in the Portland, Oregon, mayoral election. In total, 23 candidates were on the ballot to see who would run the so-called “Rose City” (or, more appropriately, “Insufferable Portland”).
Oregon city stopping citizens from saving money in tough times.3:40 PM, Apr 26, 2012 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
As Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I'm here to help.’” Portland, Oregon, though, really is here to help. The problem is that the city hasn’t created laws to benefit Portlanders—it’s created them to benefit one specific industry, at the expense of every consumer in the area.
11:30 AM, Feb 28, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
In this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD I have a long feature on how America's hipster theme park Portland, Oregon, destroyed its infrastructure and jobs base in order to indulge a bizarre obsession with public transportation and other cultural fetishes. Among other things, I noted that the city isn't budgeting for "major road paving" for the next five years.
Oregon’s capital of cool and the downside of hipness.Mar 5, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 24 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
I keep expecting America’s trendsetters to get over Portland, Oregon, but the odes to the City of Roses just keep on coming. The Portland tourism board could compile an impressive anthology of the New York Times’s recent coverage of the city, most of which couldn’t be more fawning if it were bylined by Bambi.
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