Monday, April 27, 2009

Peace Corps

Wow, I didn't expect this one: Obama is tripling the size of the Peace Corps and establishing four different national service organizations.

Getting Americans more involved in their country would be a great thing - less individualised greed, more community awareness.

awesome.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feds on Streetcars

Looks like Obama's new Federal Transportation Secretary, Roy LaHood, is on board with his urban agenda. A complete change of policy from the Bush Administration, it looks like we're going to get funding for the new Eastside Streetcar loop. This coming on the heels of the recently announced state funding for Milwaukie MAX shows Portland's strong commitment for transportation growth and planning.

On C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" this morning, LaHood also called Portland a model for reducing pollution, "getting people out of their cars" and creating "livable" communities.
Construction is expected to start on the eastside loop in 2010.

Sam Adams and climate change tonight

Sam Adams and Earl Blumenauer are unveiling the new Multnomah County Climate Action Plan tonight at PSU. Part of the new Focus the Nation townhall.

I'd like to see how the 12-lane Columbia Bridge replacement fits into their environmental plans...

hat tip to Portland Transport

heads up to Smarter Bridge!

Rose Quarter + more

Well its been a hectic couple of months in the land of politics and local news.

Firstly, Portland was awarded a new Major League Soccer franchise back in March, and is now looking to moving forward with plans to turn PGE park into a soccer stadium, and build a new home for the Beavers minor league baseball team.

Foremost on the locations for a new 9,000 seat stadium is the site of the Memorial Coliseum, a contentious issue for which I will be blogging considerably about.

So I went to the Rose Quarter redevelopment meeting on April 14th, where Sam Adams unveiled the existing plans for the minor league stadium that are coinciding with the Blazers joint plans with Cordish development (same guys who put forth a proposal for Centennial Mills) for an "entertainment district."

Oregonlive has good coverage of the unfolding drama.

I'll elaborate further on the development plans soon; but first some more news!

Sam is also pushing forward with plans for the new Convention Center Hotel; 600 rooms for $247 million to help bring in larger conventions and bring more investment and activity in the Lloyd District. Hopefully this will sail a bit smoother than the Rose Quarter plans, as there are fewer toes to step on.

Of course, there was the fallout after Sam Adams sex scandal broke out months ago; forgive me for not blogging more about it, but it was a tad painful to deal with, considering I had voted for him. Unfortunately, it appears that Randy Leonard may have developed some of his own political aspirations, as he has become much more proactive in City Hall, being a main proponent in the push for MLS and bureau consolidation.