As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolLegend of the Four Mayors… No, Not Really
Four mayors of major West Coast cities gathered recently to discuss homelessness at the Portland City Club. Here’s what we know:

1. They each got to sit in really bada*s vintage chairs, with host Dave Miller getting the best one. It had some kind of print on it, I couldn’t make it out. He was wearing a classy pair of square-toed shoes and had just the right amount of facial hair. Really a dapper fellow. His choice of a music stand to hold his notes was classy, but down to earth.

2. All mayors drank water from wine glasses so nobody would confuse them with the actual homeless.

3. Three of the mayors appeared to be really old. Maybe the fourth dyed his hair, but really, who would dye it dark grey? I say it’s natural. I do.

4. Portland Mayor Charlie Hale talked serious smack about San Francisco, saying that he didn’t want Portland to turn out like that… where youngsters can’t afford all of the great restaurants everywhere. Nobody apparently had the heart to tell Mr. Hale that he basically just described Portland.

5. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was then all like “Arggh!!! I kill you!” but calmed down and rambled on about how he and Charlie Hale had met the Pope together.

6. Most mayors agreed that groups like Right 2 Dream Too and Opportunity Village, both Oregon-based homeless camps, are a good thing, though not a great long-run fix.

7. This is about when I lost interest and watched a video review of Kirby’s Air Ride for the Nintendo Gamecube. It seems rather meh.

San Francisco Strikes Back
First off, let me apologize for all of the Star Wars headlines as of late. The fact is, Star Wars. Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars. So soon.

Anyway. So as a prequel to the above shenanigans, San Francisco’s Ed Lee has announced that the city’s entire fleet of trucks, from now on, will run on a bio-fuel known as renewable diesel. No upgrades to the vehicles are needed because it’s basically exactly the same as normal diesel, but like, way better… somehow.

While Ed was bandying about on stage he suggested that the other mayors do the same, because the thing he did was great and they should be great, too. The estimate is that the city of San Fran will see a 50,000 metric ton reduction in their greenhouse emissions. Booya! Maybe we should consider it? Or maybe not.

The refinery in charge, one Neste Oil of Finland, has taken heat from Greenpeace and a number of other do-gooders for the less than stellar environmental practices of some of their raw materials providers, including palm oil harvesters that have hastened some nasty deforestation.

Neste says this is all in the past and that they’re not only using certified sustainable stuff, but I still don’t trust them. Mainly because it helps out the implied narrative of this article.

The Johnny Beaver Insight Network
Once again this week I will throw caution to the wind and answer Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Public Insight Network questions just for you!

We want to hear about your experiences giving to the arts…

Well, I’m a painter, published poet, recording engineer, and sculptor. I founded an arts guild in the city and have contributed to Oregon State University’s Montage art club, and I have also shown paintings a few dozen times from here to Eugene.

Can you afford living in Oregon?

I would have assumed that you’d guess this to be a “no” after reading that first answer.

What can communities learn from Oregon’s young people?

We’re ranked 16th in terms of teen pregnancies, with 21.6 births per 1,000 teen girls. I’m sure there’s something to learn there.


By Johnny Beaver