News Jan 15, 2014 at 4:00 am

A Postmortem on the Port


I would just add that it was the advocacy of a lot of people that brought this bad project to an end. This project was strongly opposed by neighborhoods, tribes and conservation groups. I would particularly single out the residents of the manufactured home community who live next door to the proposed project and would have borne the brunt of its negative impacts. They fought every step of the way and they set some really important precedents along the way. This was the first project in Portland that was required to do a Health Impact Assessment to quantify the potential direct impacts on the local community. It was also the first time that the city insisted that meaningful mitigation be included to offset impacts to the local human community. Many, including Audubon, would argue that this proposed mitigation did not go anywhere far enough--for example it failed to address a tripling of air toxics that would have increased local air toxic levels to 55 times the state benchmarks. None the less it did set a new precedent for how we think about how major projects impact vulnerable communities that should be built upon in the future. I would also note the Yakama Nation which provided incredibly powerful testimony to remind Portland that what we do on our portion of the river has impacts throughout the entire system. City Council also deserves credit for standing strong in the face of huge pressure to externalize the negative impacts of this project. The end of the annexation process is a huge win for our communities and our environment and it demonstrates the power of grassroots activism in Portland.
The Mayor and the City Council should be lauded for the critical thinking of how to develop jobs without consuming golf courses, natural wilderness areas and other lands valuable to a healthy and vibrant community. Focusing on already developed areas polluted by previous users, developing jobs that can "grow up instead of out" and analyzing that, if most port related jobs are indirect, how far outside of the city can the actual port be while still attracting these indirect jobs? Thank you Charlie, Amanda, Nick and Steve for your critical thinking which caused powerful people to pull a bad proposal.
Yeah, who needs jobs around here anyway.
I'm sure that all the polution would have killed all the little birdies and fishies.
What's to conserve? It's a fucking flood plane. I say rebuild Portland State University, back out there, where it originally came from, and where it rightfully, belongs. Clear the Southwest, downtown area for the private sector to have space to be able to grow itself and create jobs that tax payers won't have to subsidize.
Seriously, Wim Wiewel, der Führer of PSU has a doctoral degree in Urban Planning. He's a mischievous, little, Dutch boy from Amsterdam where they have dykes like the PSU Safety Patrollers. He ought to be able to design an ecologically sustainable habitat for brainwashing students who can't afford to get an education instead.

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