Last week, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and members of his staff headed off to Denver for the annual Greenbuild Conference—and turned it into a booze-soaked Portland lovefest.
Instead of engaging in the usual roundtable discussions and keynote addresses that would make any sane person blow their brains out, Saltzman brought down some Portland businesses and city agencies to set up something called "PDX Lounge," for attendees to "unwind over drinks and experience Portland's sustainable industries." One of the main draws: Medoyeff Distillery.
For once, Dan Saltzman was the coolest, funnest guy in the room—one of the hip kids. Briefly, anyway. In a week and a half, Saltzman will be forfeiting his temporary coolness when he brings forward a proposal to ban smoking in Pioneer Courthouse Square. On November 29, he'll be presenting an entire package of rules changes for the city's parks, including a ban on smoking near children.
Some of his other rules aren't going to go over well with the ever-popular Live Action Role Playing (LARP) set. Saltzman wants to ban dirks, daggers, sling shots, nunchaku, studded handcoverings, swords, sap gloves, hatchets, and axes, all of which are needed by the Elvendor Guild of High Elves in their quest to defeat the infernal Dragon Queen of Xylmir. Godspeed, fake warriors.
As Parks Commissioner, Saltzman also wants to ban—I kid you not—ejaculation. No, seriously. Section 20.12.070 of the new rules states: "No person shall ejaculate in any Park."
Well, ahem. According to Webster's, "ejaculate" is from the Latin word "to throw," and besides the common definition, it also means "to utter suddenly and vehemently" and "to eject a fluid." So, does that mean no more throwing Frisbees, no more loudly yelling, "Go team!" and no more squeezing ketchup onto hot dogs? And no more handjobs on park benches? Thanks for NOTHING, Saltzman.
In mostly unrelated news, city council is gearing up for this year's budget process. Unlike years past, however, when everyone had to get all scrooge-y because there wasn't enough money to go around, there is actually a surplus this year. That means that instead of fighting over who gets screwed the hardest, there'll be enough money left over to fund all those boondoggles and pet projects that everyone says the politicians love so damn much.
So here's my boondoggle wish list: hover cars for police, cherry cola in every drinking fountain, and a river that doesn't fill with poop every time it rains.