As the State Turns

The Rent is Too Damn High!
No seriously, it is. So high, in fact, that 300 protesters showed up outside of Portland’s Normandy Apartments last Saturday to call attention to what I can only describe as a big-a*s rent hike. Set to start on the first of April, the hike itself is set at 100%. Yes, that’s a doubling of the rent Normandy residents are paying… overnight. The apartments currently cost about $650 a month, but will be going up to $1,300. That’s an entire paycheck for most people. Why can’t poor people just materialize an extra two weeks of pay? Because magic doesn’t exist.

To put the increase into perspective, think of it as an extra 656.56 $0.99 burritos per month. If things continue as planned, it’ll be putting people on relatives’ couches, or worse… You know, many of these families have children and stuff. In case you were wondering, yes, this is completely ^%#$@! insane.

The owners of the property, Charles Halliday and Ira Virden, have been contacted in hopes of setting up a meeting with residents. Neither has replied, likely because they’re shooting baby gazelles from a helicopter on their yearly sport hunting trip to Africa.

And that, folks, is what makes a slum lord a slum lord.

Richardson Goes Nuclear
Not really. Then again, I’m no expert on uranium. There’s only one of those around…

Barely staying on topic here, freshly minted Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson recently went on a bit of a tirade about Governor Kate Brown’s choice to flip-flop on her position regarding the sale of Elliott State Forest. Long story short: Brown was once all like, “Okay, my dudes,” but now she’s like, “That’s a bad idea. My dudes.”

The original position Richardson was quoting was from August of 2015, which if you didn’t know, was like a year and a half or something ago. Not that anything could possibly have changed enough for a shift in position over such a short period of time. Also, I’m choosing not to comment at all on the fact that around the same time, Richardson was quoted as saying the price the state was to get for the land was way too low. No comment.

The $221 million sale is currently moving forward.

Greg Walden: Bendin’ Over?
Congressman Greg Walden, an Oregonian Republican, has some people worried. He hasn’t held a town hall in Bend for four years, so in lieu of a flare gun, residents have set up two “rogue” town halls of their own. They’ve also been protesting outside of his Bend office for a number of weeks. Still, no Walden in sight.

Representatives for Walden have said, “Hey, folks, he does town halls everywhere, including phone town halls that anyone can attend.” Of course, it doesn’t really explain why he ignores one of the largest cities within his purview. Which is Bend. Which you would know if you were paying attention. To the previous paragraph. Seriously, right up there ^.

Anyhow, Walden is a wacky guy… He could be up to anything. He did once say that the war on meth must be fought with a “multi-pronged” approach. Maybe he’s been trying out a few of those prongs.

Ending Anonymity
Oregon House of Representatives members are pondering the possibility of putting (#alliteration) a stop to anonymous bill submission. Though most bills have some sort of attribution of authorship, longstanding rules have allowed complete anonymity. In the interest of transparency and some other four-syllable words, some House members, including Republican Guru Mike McLane, have suggested putting an end to the allowance.

Two bills – one proposing coffee taxes, and the other a tariff on old cars – were the impetus of this move, as they pissed a lot of people off and were submitted without authorship.

“Death to cowards,” shouted Art Robinson from underneath a table. To be fair, he was about 150 miles away from any pertinent meeting, and was likely playing Flappy Bird on a stolen iPhone 4.

When the Bell Tolls
The Oregon Department of Transportation let slip their intention to apply for a federal thingymajig that will allow them to create a toll system for interstate roadways. This means that it is a distinct possibility I-5 will get pricier for motorists in the future. They said it was their hope that the money would go towards improvements to alleviate traffic. In this reporter’s humble opinion, ODOT has a little bit of a, shall we say, “spotty” record for getting sh*t done. I suppose we shall see what new fruit roll-ups will roll out next. And by that, I mean… You know what I mean.

By Johnny Beaver

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