The Wandering Eye | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings

Friday, May 29, 2009

Minimum Wage Fallacies and Facts

As predictably as thunderstorms appear when the weather gets hot, conservatives call for cutting (or eliminating) the minimum wage when the economy gets cold.

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 10:22 AM

As predictably as thunderstorms appear when the weather gets hot, conservatives call for cutting (or eliminating) the minimum wage when the economy gets cold.


The Bulletin editorial page took a shot at it yesterday, castigating the state legislature for failing to ditch Oregon's unique minimum wage law.

Under the law, approved by voters in 2002, the state minimum wage automatically increases when the cost of living rises. Thanks to that provision, Oregon's minimum wage rose by 45 cents per hour on Jan. 1, to $8.40.

A House bill co-sponsored by Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles) would have drastically curtailed the COLA feature, allowing the minimum wage to rise only when the state unemployment rate is no higher than the federal rate.

Lamenting that Oregon's minimum wage is much higher than the federal wage of $6.55 per hour, The Bulletin claimed this will make it tougher for the state to climb out of the recession:

"The effect on businesses and employment is predictable. The hike is particularly difficult for small businesses in this economy. ...

"Moreover, we hardly need to mention, the wage law makes it particularly difficult for companies to make new hires, which is what Oregon really needs."

The job-destroying effect of higher minimum wages has, indeed, often been predicted - it's unquestioned conservative dogma - but there's little or no empirical evidence that it actually happens. As Jeff Chapman, writing for the Economic Policy Institute, noted in 2004: "In general, there is no valid, research-based rationale for believing that state minimum wages cause measurable job losses. Making the extreme case that the job losses are severe enough to show up in a noticeably elevated state unemployment rate is a wild extension of a largely unfounded theory."

One problem with the theory that higher minimum wages cause jobs to flee is that most minimum-wage jobs are the kind that CAN'T flee. They're in the service and retail sectors, and - unlike manufacturing jobs - they can't be shipped to other states or overseas. If you want to operate a hotel or a restaurant or a Wal-Mart in Oregon, you have to pay the Oregon minimum wage. It's that simple.

The current numbers on unemployment rates and minimum wages elsewhere also fail to bear out the theory. True, Oregon has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation - but in Michigan, the state with the highest rate, the minimum wage is a dollar an hour lower than Oregon's at $7.40.

In Washington the state minimum wage is even higher than in Oregon - $8.55 - but unemployment is only 9.1%. And South Carolina's unemployment rate is the third-highest in the country at 11.5% although the minimum wage there is a piddling $6.55 (the federal rate).

It looks like a complex set of factors - the nature of a state's economic base and how hard it was hit by the bursting of the real estate bubble, to name two - have more to do with its unemployment rate than its minimum wage. States that were heavily dependent on the auto industry (Michigan) or the construction industry (Oregon) lost a lot of jobs; states whose economies were based on agriculture (Nebraska, Iowa) didn't.

On the flip side, conservative writers never seem to consider the trickle-up effect -- that workers also are customers, and that putting a few dollars more in the pockets of those customers might be a pretty good thing for business.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Idol Chatter: Was the Final Vote Rigged?

And now, for a change of pace from politics and economic gloom, a scandal of a different stripe: Fans of "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM

And now, for a change of pace from politics and economic gloom, a scandal of a different stripe: Fans of "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert are charging that the final outcome was rigged by AT&T.


Lambert's showmanship and vocal pyrotechnics made him the heavy favorite to win this season's "Idol" crown, but he was upset in the last round by the less gifted but more clean-cut Kris Allen. Lambert fans are complaining that AT&T let Allen fans use free demo phones at viewing parties to text in their votes and even provided instruction in how to send blocks of up to 10 votes at a time - something that supposedly is against "Idol" rules.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of the ultra-liberal The Nation magazine (and a Lambert fan), smells a rat:

"Okay, I know the stealing of American Idol 2009 isn't on par with the stealing of the 2000 [presidential] election. But for American Idol fan(atic)s, and I confess I am one, Wednesday's New York Times report that AT&T workers in Arkansas, Kris Allen's home state, 'might have influenced the outcome of this year's competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Allen' deserves to be investigated by a non-partisan commission with full subpoena power."

After noting that AT&T didn't throw any voting parties for Lambert, Vanden Heuvel goes on to say that although Lambert supporters "have flooded online chat boards with messages claiming irregularities in the voting ... the official American Idol website reads like a Soviet-era information site: no news of the emerging scandal anywhere to be found. Officials at Fox declined to talk about the situation. And AT&T reps are also mum.

"Was the outcome unfairly influenced by corporate sponsor AT&T eager to have Allen as this year's Idol? Did it consider Allen a better pitchman for its products? We deserve answers. Otherwise, Idol fans - tune out next season."

TIME magazine columnist James Poniewozik thinks Lambert fans are blowing this out of proportion:

"The Hollywood Reporter did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and figured - given that the free phones were at only two viewing parties in the entire nation - that even if as many votes as possible were cast on the free phones they would barely have made a dent in the overall total. More important, as I've said before, it's a little hard to figure out how to quantify fairness and unfairness in an 'election' decided by people voting as many times as they want over the phone.

However, Poniewozik continued, "I agree ... that, to the extent that Idol wants its vote to be perceived as legitimate (say, so as not to undermine the career of the winner), it ought to release the vote totals after each season."

The Eye - who, like Vanden Heuvel, was a Lambert supporter - concurs. Fox, come clean NOW!

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jobless Numbers Are (Insert Ugly Adjective Here)

We'd like to bring you some good news about the Central Oregon economy - really, we would - but there just isn't any out there.

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2009 at 12:58 PM

We'd like to bring you some good news about the Central Oregon economy - really, we would - but there just isn't any out there. If it wasn't for bad news we'd have no news at all.


Yesterday the unemployment numbers for April came out, and while the statewide picture was a little brighter - or at least wasn't getting more dim - the figures for Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties were terrible. Historically terrible. Epically terrible.

The rate for the Bend metro statistical area (Deschutes County) was 15.9%, up 1.5 points from March and more than double the rate for April 2008. Jefferson stood at 16.4%, up about half a point from March and more than 7 points higher than in April 2008. And in Crook County the jobless rate was a jaw-dropping 19.9%, up 1.7 points from March and more than twice the April 2008 rate of 8.3%.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged from March at 12%. That's still the second-highest in the country, trailing only Michigan.

The March data marked a pause in the steep climb of Oregon's jobless rate, but don't light up the cigars yet: Economists expect the upward trend to resume. "The Oregon [employment] department's monthly report of employment sectors showed continued weakness in the bedrock of the economy, manufacturing, as well as declines in construction, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities," The Associated Press reported.

In other words, things sucked pretty much across the board. And with Bend's and Central Oregon's economy so heavily dependent on construction, there's every reason to believe our recession will be longer and deeper than the state's.

Back during the mini-boom of the mid-1990s, one of The Eye's friends commented that you could always tell when the local economy was doing well because the construction workers put magnetic signs on the sides of their pickups and started calling themselves "contractors." We guess we'll know things are looking up when we start seeing those magnetic signs again.

Meanwhile, at least we've got that glorious Central Oregon sunshine.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Republicanomics, Explained

Having a hard time understanding the Republican position on Oregon's economic problems? It's easy once you grasp the basic principles of Republicanomics.

Posted By on Sun, May 24, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Having a hard time understanding the Republican position on Oregon's economic problems? It's easy once you grasp the basic principles of Republicanomics.


According to Republicanomics, there are two situations in which you absolutely, positively must not raise taxes. Those are (a) when the economy is doing well and (b) when the economy is not doing well. If the economy is doing well, raising taxes will kill the good times. If it's not doing well, raising taxes will make it worse.

Conversely, there are two times when it's absolutely imperative to cut taxes: when the economy is doing well, and when it's not doing well.

Republicanomic principles were on display in Salem last week as Republican lawmakers lit into Democrats' plans to modestly increase personal and business income taxes by creating a new top bracket of 11% on incomes above $125,000.

"This is nothing more than an attempt force small businesses to pay for years of unsustainable spending while mega corporations and public employee unions who fund the Democrat campaign machines are let off the hook," thundered Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood), as reported on the Oregon Catalyst blog.

The Republicans went on to point out that "according to the Small Business Association, small businesses employ more than half of all private sector employees. Small businesses have generated 60 to 80 percent of new jobs annually over the past decade."

In addition to the delicious irony of Republicans attacking those Big Bad Corporations, it's worth noting that what's considered a "small business" by the SBA is not necessarily limited to the mom-and-pop candy store on the corner. For example, under some circumstances a manufacturing business can have up to 1,500 employees and a retail operation can do up to $35.5 million a year in business and still qualify as "small."

Meanwhile, in a news release, Oregon Republican Chairman Bob Tiernan was ripping the Democrats' proposal to increase the state gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees.

"Raising taxes at this time is a job killer," Tiernan warned. "The timing of this tax increase will only deepen the current recession and prolong our recovery. What we really need is for our elected officials to focus on ways to create long-term jobs and grow Oregon's economy instead of proposing hundreds of new tax and fee increases."

Tiernan didn't spell out the Republican plan for creating long-term jobs and grow Oregon's economy, but we suspect - just taking a wild stab here - that it might involve cutting taxes.

Or maybe Oregon Republicans are going to revive last year's brilliant idea of (we swear we are not making this up) raising money by selling Columbia River water to other states.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Right-Winger Wilts on the Waterboard

Is waterboarding "torture"? One right-wing radio host in Chicago insisted it isn't, and was willing to back up his stand by getting waterboarded himself -

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Is waterboarding "torture"? One right-wing radio host in Chicago insisted it isn't, and was willing to back up his stand by getting waterboarded himself - with hilarious results.


As shown in this video, Erich "Mancow" Muller - after predicting he could tolerate the procedure for as long as a minute - comes up gasping and spluttering after exactly five seconds.

"It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow says afterwards. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back. ... It was instantaneous ... and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture. ... If I knew it was gonna be this bad, I would not have done it."

And Mancow, unlike the typical waterboarding victim, had the procedure performed by a friendly Marine sergeant with reporters, cameras and paramedics on hand.

Okay, we know there's no local angle to this, but it's so damn funny we couldn't resist passing it along. Anybody want to make a guess as to how long Dick Cheney would last?

(TOH to Kari Chisholm at Blue Oregon for spotting this.)

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Stressed Out Are We? Map Tells the Tale

Feeling stressed by the Great Recession? You've got reason to be. According to a new map put together by The Associated Press, Central Oregon is

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Feeling stressed by the Great Recession? You've got reason to be. According to a new map put together by The Associated Press, Central Oregon is one of the most stressed-out places in the country.


The AP's "Stress Index Map" shows the stress level in every county in America, as calculated on the basis of the unemployment rate, the foreclosure rate and the bankruptcy rate. The map, which The AP plans to update monthly, indicates each county's stress index score by color, ranging from beige (under 5) to very dark brown (25 or over).

Crook County is the most stressed county in Oregon, according to the map, with an index score of 23.1. Jefferson County is not far behind, scoring 21.39. Deschutes County racks up a score of 20.45.

The only other Oregon counties with a stress index score higher than 20 are Douglas at 20.33 and Harney at 22.10.

On the bright side, Central Oregon looks positively mellow compared with some places in California, including Imperial County (stress index 28.13), Merced County (28.07) and Colusa County at 28.23.

But even poor Colusa isn't the most stressed-out county in the USA. That dubious honor goes to Mackinac County on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, with a score of 28.44

Looking at the overall map, one striking thing is how pale (low-stress) the central portion of the country is and how dark (high-stress) the West Coast is. In general, the areas that saw the biggest boom are the ones that got hammered hardest by the bust.

A quick eyeball scan seems to show that Nebraska is the least-stressed state in the country; we couldn't find a single county there with a stress index in double digits. So if you're thinking about loading up the U-Haul and heading for greener pastures, that's one possibility to consider.

The downside, of course, is that you'd be in Nebraska.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prediction: The Bottom's Still a Long Way Off

Oregon still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the US, but some see a silver lining in the fact that at least the rate didn't

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Oregon still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the US, but some see a silver lining in the fact that at least the rate didn't rise in April - it stayed at 12%, the same as in March.


The Oregon Center for Public Policy, though, has found a cloud behind the silver lining behind the cloud. Looking at the ratio of Oregon workers to available jobs, the center calculates that our employment picture is worse now than it was six years ago, and is likely to remain bleak "well into the next decade."

An analysis of state employment numbers released last week "shows that there are fewer jobs for working-age Oregonians than in the worst year of the previous recession, which was 2003," the OCPP says in a press release. "The analysis ... also shows that the ratio of jobs to workers will not surpass the 2003 low point until 2015."

According to the OCPP's calculations, there presently are 67.2 nonfarm payroll jobs in Oregon for every 100 working-age Oregonians, compared to 70.2 jobs for every 100 in 2003.

And OCPP analyst Michael Leachman said things are likely to get worse before they get better: In 2010, the ratio is expected to fall to 65.7 jobs per 100 workers.

Leachman said the scarcity of private-sector jobs is an argument for "public investments [to] preserve and create jobs in the short term and bring matching federal dollars into the state economy. In the long term, they help lay the foundations for future growth."

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Republicans: Let the Ignorant Rabble Suffer

Over at the right-wing blog NW Republican, "Coyote" (Ted Piccolo) and convicted racketeer Bill Sizemore are advising conservatives NOT to fight a Democrat-backed state income

Posted By on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Over at the right-wing blog NW Republican, "Coyote" (Ted Piccolo) and convicted racketeer Bill Sizemore are advising conservatives NOT to fight a Democrat-backed state income tax increase at the ballot box.


Why? Because, as they see it, the voters deserve to be punished for electing Democrats.

"The voters elected a majority of Democrats to the legislature and a Democrat as governor," writes Piccolo. "At some point I believe that you need to allow the tax and spend policies of those the people elected, to move forward. ... If the referral [to the voters] is successful then you are merely protecting the people from themselves and the people will never realize the true impacts of the Democrat party policies."

In a line reminiscent of the Emperor Nero's famous quote, "Odi profanum vulgus et arceo" - "I hate the ignorant rabble and I keep them at a distance" - Sizemore concurs with Piccolo:

"By collecting the signatures and referring all these increases to the ballot, conservative activists would in effect be saving Oregon voters from pain that their choices at the polls have brought upon them (and us). The predictable result would be that voters would likely vote again for the same tax and spend Democrat politicians in 2010."

Elsewhere in his comment, though, Sizemore hints at what is probably the real reason he thinks right-wingers shouldn't fight the Democrats' proposal to raise income taxes on big corporations and couples making over $250,000 a year.

"Defeating this new income tax increase, at least in the form in which it is expected to appear, is not going to be the cakewalk the last one was," he writes. "The 2004 Measure 30 referendum challenged a broad based income tax surcharge that fell on most Oregonians. Collecting the signatures and defeating that increase was like shooting fish in a barrel.

"Democrats, however, have learned from that shellacking. This time, they are targeting upper income taxpayers, which pay an inordinate share of the taxes but comprise a small minority of the electorate. The so-called wealthy are easy targets for the socialist minded, union dominated, 'hate the rich' Democrat majority in Salem and their divide and conquer strategy will probably work."

Take away the union-bashing and "socialism" claptrap and Sizemore's point boils down to this: "If we go to the voters and ask them to reject a modest tax increase on corporations and rich people while important state services are being cut, we'll get our asses handed to us."

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Death Watch on Auto Row

One day long, long ago, shortly after The Eye moved to Bend, our boss came up to us beaming, shook our hand and offered his

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM

One day long, long ago, shortly after The Eye moved to Bend, our boss came up to us beaming, shook our hand and offered his congratulations. Our big achievement: We'd just bought a Jeep Cherokee from a local dealer.


Back in those distant days, you see, it was routine for Bendites to go to Portland to buy their vehicles - not just because they (supposedly) were cheaper there, but also because there wasn't much of a selection here.

Those not-so-good old days may be coming back: Over the past week, Chrysler and GM dropped the ax on three of their long-time Central Oregon dealerships. Bob Thomas of Bend lost its Chevy and Cadillac franchises, Thomas Sales & Service of Bend lost its Chrysler franchise, and Dave Hamilton of Redmond was a double loser - it was cut by both GM and Chrysler.

Bob Thomas and Thomas Sales & Service are appealing the GM and Chrysler decisions. If the appeals don't succeed, anybody who needs warranty service on a Chevy vehicle will have to take it to Gary Gruner in Madras.

But eventually even that option might not be available: The more than 1,100 dealerships that GM slashed last week were less than half the number that the automaker ultimately wants to get rid of.

No matter how you feel about car salesmen in general, the loss of major dealerships isn't a good thing for Central Oregon. They're significant employers and taxpayers, and they've been consistent supporters of local events and non-profits.

More than that, the absence of any GM or Chrysler dealer in town reinforces the impression that Bend is an isolated, middle-of-nowhere hamlet, and that will make it just a little bit harder to claw our way out of the recession.

Bad economic news tends to spawn more bad economic news. We've already lost a number of good restaurants, several retailers and at least one major (by local standards) manufacturer - and now we're losing car dealerships. The tumbleweeds aren't blowing down the middle of Wall Street yet, but this place is starting to get a bit of that creepy ghost-town feeling.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yay, We're a National Icon!

Bend, the Bubble-and-Bust Capital of America, is about to get some really big-time recognition: The Eye has it on excellent authority that the New York

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 6:24 AM

Bend, the Bubble-and-Bust Capital of America, is about to get some really big-time recognition: The Eye has it on excellent authority that the New York Times is working on a story about our current economic calamity.


Stories about the meteoric rise and spectacular crash-and-burn of Bend have become a staple of publications all over the country, of course - most recently in Business Week. But having it printed in the pages of America's Newspaper of Record would kind of make it official.

It's sobering to remember that less than three and a half years ago the Times ran a nice fluffy piece extolling the delights of Bend living. "When you own a home in the sixth-fastest-growing region in the country, you worry about letting the cat out at night because of the coyotes howling in the forest," it began. "You scribe fresh powder turns down 9,000-foot-high bowls and muscle bicycles through high-desert hills."

It went on to tell the story of a developer named Albert Angelo Jr., who "bought in Bend for its 300 annual days of sunshine" - the Times should be embarrassed to have swallowed that shameless old lie - "and the 4.3 million acres of public land just beyond his floor-to-ceiling windows. He plans to divide his time between his houses in Vancouver, Wash., and Palm Desert, Calif., and his new $3 million, 5,100-square-foot single-story house in Pronghorn, a resort on the outskirts of town.

"'When I look out my Pronghorn house facing north, I see a covered patio with a 10-foot-diameter barbecue pit, a pop-up plasma TV and a view of the golf course -- but of a putting green, so my house won't get hit by golf balls,' Mr. Angelo, 59, said. 'You have a good lifestyle down there.'"

We wonder how Mr. Angelo feels about his lifestyle - and his $3 million real estate investment - now. He apparently still lives in Pronghorn (he's in the phone book) but he hasn't returned our call yet. Maybe he's down in Palm Desert - we would be too if we could.

The 2005 Times story also mentioned that development was underway in the Old Mill District "for 37 luxury townhouses of 1,800 to 2,200 square feet, for $700,000 to $1.6 million," and that "about 300 people are on a waiting list to purchase another dozen town houses at the Bluffs at the Old Mill." We have a hunch that waiting list is a lot shorter now.

It's pretty ironic that post-bubble Bend has garnered more negative publicity as the national icon of wretched speculative excess than it ever was able to generate on the positive side with all its marketing and promotion efforts.

But we're sure the local boosters and boomers will find some way to put a positive spin on this. Hey, it'll let people all over the country know that this is the best buyer's market in 20 years!

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

File Under: "NOW They Tell Us, Part II"

At the end of last month, the folks in Bend (well, those of them who hadn't been paying attention) were stunned by the news that

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 12:50 PM

At the end of last month, the folks in Bend (well, those of them who hadn't been paying attention) were stunned by the news that Cessna was closing its manufacturing plant here and laying off its last 200 workers.


Turns out, though, that Cessna had been planning to close the Bend plant all along. At least that's how The Eye reads the comment by Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver in yesterday's Bulletin.

Oliver told Bulletin reporter Keith Chu that Cessna already was shifting some of the manufacturing to Chihuahua, Mexico, and would have moved it all there if the drop in business because of the recession hadn't made it necessary to shut down entirely.

"It was in the process of happening when the decision was made to close plant," Oliver said. "That was always the plan - to move work where we had facilities to better do the work."

Not to mention workers to do it more cheaply.

Needless to say, although it "was always the plan" to ship Bend's jobs south of the border, Cessna officials didn't say anything about it when they talked the city into spending $1.5 million on an airport expansion or when they were demanding that it spend another bundle on a tower for the airport. (The city would've done it, too, if the move hadn't been blocked by a 2-1 vote of the Deschutes County Commission. Thank you, Commissioners Dennis Luke and Tammy Baney.)

The Cessna story beautifully illustrates how a big corporation can blow into a town and play the local yokels for suckers - and why it's important to include clawback provisions in any future contracts with companies that come here waving promises of family-wage jobs in return for tax breaks and other goodies.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Sunday, May 10, 2009

File Under: NOW They Tell Us

The current issue of Business Week has a fascinating story headlined, "Once booming, Bend, Oregon tumbles." It runs through the all-too-familiar litany of woes: home

Posted By on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM

The current issue of Business Week has a fascinating story headlined, "Once booming, Bend, Oregon tumbles." It runs through the all-too-familiar litany of woes: home sales and prices tumbling, unemployment soaring, businesses closing.


That's not the fascinating part. The fascinating part is a quote buried down in the story. It's from former Bend mayor and present City Councilor Oran Teater.

Talking about the boom years, Teater says: "It was a frenzy for quite a while. We knew it wasn't going to sustain."

That last sentence bears repeating, with emphasis: "We knew it wasn't going to sustain."

How's that again, Oran? If "we" (by which we presume you mean yourself and other community leaders of Bend) knew the breakneck pace of growth would not - COULD not - continue forever, why did "we" act as if it would?

As described in a story in today's Bulletin, city staff determined in early 2007 that Bend needed to bring only about 3,100 more acres inside its Urban Growth Boundary to accommodate the next 20 years of demand. But the city council pushed and prodded to bring as much land as possible inside the UGB, which ended up swallowing more than 8,500 acres.

If "we" knew the boom wouldn't last, why did "we" do that? Why did "we" accept the premise - already obviously bogus by early 2007 - that the rate of population growth Bend had seen in the past two or three years would continue for another 20?

And why did "we" - in this case, the present city council - go ahead and pass an ordinance adopting the overblown UGB in January 2009, even though the boom is long over and the local economy is in near-collapse?

The answer, of course, is that the BRDs (Builders, Realtors and Developers) and the GOBs (Good Old Boys) wanted that land brought inside the UGB, and in this town, by damn, whatever the BRDs and the GOBs want they get.

And now the city (i.e., the taxpayers) must bear the expense of defending the ludicrously bloated UGB in court. And the city (yes, that means us again) also will have to foot the bill for the roads and sewers and other stuff needed to serve those 8,500 acres.

"It boggles my mind how we're going to get out of this," Erik Kancler, executive director of Central Oregon LandWatch, told The Bulletin.

Maybe the only way to get out of it is to follow the example of other Bendites, load up the U-Haul and get the hell out of Dodge.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation