The Mercury's partnership with the Bus Project grows ever stronger with our upcoming Brewhaha:

The recent argument over whether to include $15m in urban renewal dollars in the financing of the stupid controversial Major League Soccer stadium idea has done more than cause disgruntled Timbers fans to aim their extraordinarily desperate personal attacks in my direction. It's got plenty of people asking: "What is urban renewal about, anyway?"

Me included. Having reported on citywide issues for three years, I'm still flummoxed by the details of tax increment financing and why it seems to matter so much to so many people. Lately, I've started to realize that it may work in certain politicans' and developers' favor to have the population generally ignorant on these issues, however.

So wouldn't it be great to have a forum for Portlanders to get the basics on urban renewal and have a discussion about what it all means? And drink beer? Evidently, it would.

Our Get A Clue evening will give you a basic introduction to urban renewal and some of the projects it's funded in Portland, over the years. Our three expert sleuths will try to persuade the audience "whodunnit" on some of those projects. Were they designed with the public in mind? With the interests of a select few? With smarts, or without them? You choose.

County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, State Representative Nick Kahl, and just confirmed, a representative from the Portland Development Commission will all be there to sleuth their way through urban renewal. And you, dear reader, will have the opportunity to weigh in with your own ideas, or simply soak it all up and Get A Clue of your own.