Navigation
More About This Website

Middle East friendship chart

--------------------------------------

California topples a tyrant

--------------------------------------

10 Things US does worse than Europe

--------------------------------------

Corporations enriching shareholders

--------------------------------------

 

 
Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

-------------------------

Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

------------------------

Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


-----------------------------

"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 



Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

-----------------------

Easier to buy assault weapon than vote

-----------------------

Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

-----------------------

Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild



Check video

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha

 Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

 

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 

krugmanonline.com 

 

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

  

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Saturday
Jul262014

OREGON'S AIRPORT BOONDOGGLE, Part 1

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This long two part blog post documents that "crony capitalism" is alive and well in Oregon.  Call, e-mail or talk to your state legislators to complain about this waste of taxpayer dollars! 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One Airport for Every 14 Pilots, Only One School for Every 433 Public School Children

     By Miki Barnes, OREGON AVIATION WATCH, Testimony to Oregon Transportation Commission, July 17th,

Salem Convention Center Oregon's Skewed Funding Priorities

     Over the past decade while laying off teachers, increasing class sizes, cutting educational funds, slashing services for the mentally ill, raising college tuition, eroding environmental safeguards, and neglecting the arts, the state and the federal government have invested millions of dollars into Oregon airport projects that benefit an affluent few.

     According to the Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA) annual report for 2009-2010[1], as of 2008 there were 97 public use and over 350 private use airports for a combined total of 447 general aviation airports in Oregon to serve the state's 6,032 pilots.[2] This number, which represents less than one-sixth of one percent of the state's total population, translates into a ratio of 13.49 pilots to each GA airport in the state.

     By contrast, the Oregon Blue Book states that during the 2010-2011 school year Oregon administered 1,296 public schools for the 561,328 kindergarten through twelfth grade students enrolled[3] (14.4 % of the state’s population), a ratio of 433 students per school. Thus the proportion of airports per Oregon pilot exceeds the school to student ratio 32 times over.

Every dollar spent on aviation translates into less funding for job creation in the public sector where educators, health care providers, social service workers, affordable housing specialists, and environmental advocates are desperately needed.

     An assessment of the literature on airport funding exposes the entrenched system of corporate welfare that pervades the aviation system not only in Oregon but throughout the country - an unsustainable situation that has led to a chronic reliance by the aviation sector on public funding while maintaining the false pretense of creating jobs and fueling the economy. In order to preserve this imbalanced system, numerous public sector employees have either lost their jobs due to lay-offs or were never hired in the first place due to job creation failure.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Airports (TANA) Proposal

     In the 1990's during the Clinton administration, the welfare to work program was initiated in response to a determination that public assistance fostered an unhealthy reliance on government programs. Reducing federal spending was also a stated goal. These sentiments ultimately led to the launch of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program - a core tenet of which was that individuals receiving benefits were expected to be self-sustaining within the space of a few years.

     A similar approach should be instituted to address airport funding, particularly airports that primarily serve general aviation activity as opposed to commercial passenger service. Many airport owners and their tenants have received public assistance for decades, and as a result, have evidently failed to develop the business acumen to maintain their residential airparks or to run their aviation businesses without the benefit of public handouts.

     Clearly, subsidizing the one percent that historically utilizes Oregon's general aviation airports is proving to be an expensive and onerous burden. The time has come to stanch this economic hemorrhage and redirect these monies towards much needed investments in education, the social services, the arts, affordable housing, the environment, and responsible transportation alternatives. For far too long the 99 percent have underwritten the financial demands of entitled corporate jet and private aircraft owners who anticipate living on the public dole into perpetuity.

Funding Oregon's Airports — A Losing Proposition

     Despite massive public subsidies the majority of Oregon's airports, most of which serve private aviation related business interests, either fail to generate revenue or chronically lose money.

     Per the Oregon State Department of Aviation, "Since 2009, over 289 million dollars in FAA funds and over 89 million in ConnectOregon funding have maintained and improved the infrastructure of Oregon airports."[5] The primary beneficiaries of this lavish 378 million dollar outlay are an affluent few who own and operate their own airports, own private aviation related businesses and flight training schools, can afford to invest in multi-million-dollar jets, and those with the financial wherewithal to own private aircraft and helicopters worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

     In other words, scarce federal and state dollars are routinely funneled into the hands of the top one percent and other high end wage earners while simultaneously and habitually shortchanging education, the environment, social services, health care, high speed rail, the arts, and other worthy programs.

     Aron Faegre, an airport planner who has been involved in many statewide airport consulting and expansion projects, describes general aviation as, "all of the various aircraft operations for business, private, public, and recreation activities that are not under the category of scheduled airline or freight, or military."[6] He notes that "since the 1980's the economics of general aviation (GA) has been weak."[7]

     Faegre puzzles over why general aviation airports that receive 95% of their funding from the federal government still have a hard time breaking even and aptly points out, "Any private developer of commercial or industrial properties would love to have 95% funding for their projects." [8] Alarmingly, Faegre's so-called "solution" involves privatizing airports while continuing to take millions from public coffers.

     An example of this privatization model is Aurora Airport, where most of the businesses that benefit from this funding scheme are located on adjacent properties rather than within the boundaries of the airport.

    Though the FAA frowns on this arrangement, the state advocates allowing them to access the airport via private taxiways. This approach to privatization requires the public to foot the bill for infrastructure including air traffic control towers, runway rehabilitation projects, airport expansions, and more, so that well-heeled airport owners and business interests can profit at public expense.

     To make up the 5% to 10% not funded through the FAA, airport owners and aviation interests seek funding through the Oregon Department of Aviation, the Oregon Department of Transportation and grants via ConnectOregon and other state programs.

     Due to changes in the FAA Reauthorization Reform Act of 2012, the federal government now covers only 90% of the expense of running an airport, which may help to explain why Oregon's 2013 budget intends to allocate not only lottery dollars but also to raid the general fund in an effort to underwrite these questionable projects.

     Why are the federal government and the state foisting the cost of subsidizing non-revenue generating transportation boondoggles onto Oregon residents who neither use nor benefit from these facilities? The documented history of financial losses at these airports suggests that this floundering business model runs counter to the greater good.

 

 

 

Friday
Jul252014

OREGON'S AIRPORT BOONDOGGLE, Part 2  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The record of state and federal subsidies from the FAA and Connect Oregon give evidence of the truth of two aphorisms about politics - the devil is in the details and all politics is local.  

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Port of Portland General Aviation Airports Operate at a Loss

     Port of Portland Ordinance No. 389-R Section 1.1.6 as of 2/28/13 acknowledges that, "Portland Hillsboro Airport, Portland Mulino Airport, and Portland Troutdale Airport have sustained net losses throughout their respective periods of operation by the Port and have never produced revenues sufficient to offset the Port's operating and capital costs for aeronautical assets in use at such airports"[9] The Port has owned and operated the Hillsboro Airport for 46 years, Troutdale Airport for 70 years and Mulino Airport from 1988 to 2007.

     A 2/13/13 revision to the Ordinance now states that Hillsboro and Troutdale "have recently produced revenues sufficient to offset the Port's operating costs although not sufficient to offset capital costs for aeronautical assets in use at such airports..."[10]

     These capital costs are significant and typically rely heavily on public funding, thus the claim that these facilities are now generating revenue is spurious at best.

     In fact, the Final Draft of the 2013 Port of Portland Transportation Improvement Plan includes a number of multi-million dollar projects, totaling out to over $42 Million for the Hillsboro Airport over the next five to 10 years.

     Most are listed as "unfunded" excepting a $4 Million Connect Oregon III grant, which was disbursed to the Port for Taxiway D even though the entire runway/taxiway project was remanded by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further environmental review. That the state funded this project regardless of the court decision strongly suggests that the ConnectOregon program maintains an attitude of utter indifference to established national environmental laws as well as the health and well being of the community.

     The Port also lists more than $18 Million in unfunded projects for the Troutdale Airport. Thus Hillsboro and Troutdale Airports' project costs combined top out at over $60 Million over the next decade. This is a hefty sum to invest in historically non-revenue generating facilities that primarily serve the for-profit flight training industry and recreational pilots. Surely public dollars can be spent more wisely.

Most Oregon State Owned Airports Losing Money

     Other airports around the state are also chronically dependent on public handouts. According to the Oregon Department of Aviation ODA 2011-2012 Annual Report,[11] the ODA owns and operates 28 state airports. All but six of these facilities lost money during the biennium ending in June of 2011.

     Those listed in the black - Aurora, Independence, Lebanon, Mulino, Cottage Grove, and Nehalem Bay - are discussed below. Financial information on these airports was obtained from Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA) Annual Reports from 2001 to 2012. All are available at the ODA website http://www.oregon.gov/aviation/Pages/index.aspx. The data on aircraft operations specific to the individual airports is available at the Federal Aviation Administration website www.faa.gov in the Terminal Area Forecasts (TAF) section.

Aurora Airport

     Aurora Airport which "accommodates a significant amount of business jets and training activity"[12] has, over the past 12 years, received more than $11 Million in government aid including $673,800 from the FAA and a $2.7 Million ConnectOregon III grant for a controversial air traffic control tower. Aurora logs around 100,000 operations annually.[13]

     The ODA is currently promoting a multimillion dollar runway lengthening project at this facility[14] to accommodate larger corporate jets, primarily on behalf of non-airport tenants who benefit from the airport but pay no rent to help cover operating costs. This expansion, which would compromise prime farmland in the vicinity of the airport, is opposed by many in the local community. 15]

     Per aviation consultant Aron Faegre, "A non-towered airport with a single runway and two parallel taxiways has a typical aeronautical capacity of approximately 200,000 annual operations. Most of Oregon's 100 public GA airports operate at a capacity that is less than one-tenth of this capacity."[16] Thus the need for this expensive undertaking is in question.

     So what is the financial return on the millions invested at this airport?

     In the biennium ending in June of 2011 Aurora posted a profit of $111,756 and $142,108 in the previous biennium, 17] a mere pittance compared to the millions flung at this facility over the past decade. This is apparently what passes as a flourishing aviation business model in Oregon. Others call it shameful exploitation and an indefensible misuse of public funds on behalf of an entitled few.

     Aurora is the only state owned airport posting a profit during the biennium ending in June of 2011 that experienced an increase in operations in 2011[18], primarily on behalf of student pilots, recreational enthusiasts, and business jets that are not even located on airport property.

Independence Airport (7S5)

     A shining example of the benefits accorded to those who can afford to park an airplane in their driveway instead of a car is the Independence Airport. This facility, which per the ODA "is operated as a residential airpark with taxiways from the existing runway/taxiway system leading to hangars attached to single family homes,"[19] has received more than $2.5 Million in state and federal aid since 1999. Independence Airport posted a profit of $78,845 in the biennium ending in June 2011 and $142,308 in the previous biennium.[20] The annual operational count at this facility dropped by over 25% in 2011, from 44,146 in 2009 to 33,658.[21]

Mulino Airport (4S9)

     This airport was under Port of Portland ownership for 30 years during which time it routinely failed to generate revenue. In 2007 it was transferred over to the ODA. Between 2009 and 2011 Mulino's annual operational count dropped by close to 50% from a high of 39,663 in 2009 to 21,300 in 2011.[22] Since 2002 Mulino Airport has been on the receiving end of more than $2.25 Million in funding from Port of Portland, federal and state sources.

Cottage Grove Airport (61S)

     Cottage Grove Airport logged $11,517 in profits in the biennium ending in June of 2011 but lost $45,987 in the previous biennium.[23] The annual operational count at this facility declined by 728 between 2009 and 2011, from 17,413 to 16,685.[24] Since 2000, this facility has received more than $2.75 Million in government aid including more than $230,000 from the state.

     Lebanon Airport (S30)

     Annual operations at the Lebanon Airport, which realized a $1,962 profit in the biennium ending in June of 2011,[25] dropped by nearly two-thirds between 1994 and 2011, from 26,600 to 9,855.[26] This airport received over $2 Million in government aid between 2003 and 2010 including a Connect Oregon Rural Airport grant of $18,995.

Nehalem Bay (3S7)

     This writer was unable to find a listing for this facility on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) website; however, according to AirNav, this coastal airport located a couple miles from Manzanita averages 43 operations per week, which equals 2,236 annually[27]. "There are six campsites on the airport..."[28] In the biennium ending in June of 2011, this facility logged $468 in profits but lost $6,780 in the previous biennium.[29] Nehalem Bay has received more than $92,000 from the state since 2005.

Operations at Oregon's Commercial Airports On the Decline

     The operational count at Oregon's commercial airports is also trending downward. Many focus more on serving the general aviation sector than on the provision of commercial passenger transport.

Portland International Airport

     Portland International Airport (PDX) serves as a prime example of the decline in annual operations at Oregon's commercial facilities. Since 2001 PDX received over $32 Million in federal aid and $14 Million from the state including ConnectOregon grants totaling at least $13.75 Million.[30] Yet these generous cash infusions did not prevent this airport from plummeting to an operational count that marks a 27 year low, commensurate with 1985 levels. In 2011 it logged 220,874 operations, 106,000 fewer flights than it did in 1997 when it peaked at an all time high of 327,731. [31]

Eugene Mahlon Field

     Eugene Mahlon Field, the second largest commercial airport in Oregon, has also been a frequent recipient of federal and state dollars. This airport was awarded ConnectOregon grants of $4,103,461 for an air cargo facilities improvement project and $451,111 for a ramp reconstruction[32] as well as a combined total of at least $735,206 in ConnectOregon Rural Airport (CORA) subsidies.

     Federal aid since 2001 exceeds $22 Million. Even so, Eugene's annual operational count plunged by more than 50 percent, from over 161,653 in 1991 to 69,676 in 2011.[33] Approximately two-thirds of Eugene's 2011 annual operational count was related to general aviation activity. Less than 10 percent were air carrier commercial passenger flights.

Roberts Field - Redmond

     Roberts Field in Redmond is a recipient of several ConnectOregon grants - $1.5 Million for a cargo ramp and development project, $7.5 Million for a terminal expansion, and $350,000 for a taxiway and reconstruction project.[34] In addition, it received at least $387,500 from the ConnectOregon Rural Airports (CORA) fund as well as more than $21 Million in federal dollars between 2001 and 2012.

     Yet despite these extravagant handouts, total operations tumbled from a high of 94,936 in 2007 to 46,510 in 2011.[35] Approximately 75 percent of the 2011 flights were general aviation operations.

Pendleton

Pendleton's Eastern Oregon Regional now logs less than a third as many operations as it did in 1998 when it peaked at 41,214. By 2012 its annual operational count had fallen to 12,221. The majority are general aviation flights. FAA forecasts expect operations at this facility to drop even further to 11,555 by 2013. [6] Pendleton received $108,213 in ConnectOregon Rural Airport (CORA) grants in 2009-2010. Since 2001, this facility has received more than $5.25 Million in federal assistance and $1.4 Million in state subsidies.

Rogue Valley

     Rogue Valley International in Medford is down from 94,007 total operations in 1992 to 43,422 in 2011. Operations are expected to continue declining over the next few years.[37] More than half of this facility's 2011 operations were general aviation flights - a combination of recreational and training activity. This facility has been awarded over $9.5 Million from ConnectOregon[38] as well as two ConnectOregon Rural Airport grants, one for $85,257 and another for $59,849 for a combined total of $145,106, plus upwards of $21.5 Million from the FAA since 2001.

Klamath Falls

     The operational count at Klamath Falls plummeted to a 20 year low in 2009 and is expected to level out at 37,695 after peaking at 83,946 in 1992.[39] This facility received $1 Million from ConnectOregon for a jet factory service center,[40] as well as two ConnectOregon Rural Airport grants, one for $52,631 and another for $84,210. Since 2001 more than $10 Million in FAA funding has been poured into this facility. Over one third of the flights in and out of this airport in 2011 were general aviation flights.

Southwest Oregon Regional

     Southwest Oregon Regional, formerly North Bend, received $10 Million from the Oregon Legislature in 2005. In addition it was awarded a ConnectOregon IV grant of $2,392,811 for a hangar demo and reconstruction project as well as an earlier ConnectOregon grant of $624,000 for an air traffic control tower.[41]

     This facility has also received $133,769 in ConnectOregon Rural Airport grants. Operation at this airport peaked at 57,722 in 1999 before tumbling to 21,036 in 2011.[42] Southwest Oregon Regional received in excess of $8 Million in federal funding since 2001. More than half of the flights arriving and departing from this facility in 2011 were general aviation operations.

Salem-McNary Airport

     Over a four year period from 2007 through 2011 the annual operational count at Salem McNary Airport plummeted from 99,432 to 33,901.[43] This represents a drop of more than 63 percent. Operations at this facility are expected to remain on the decline for the next decade. Since 2001, Salem received more than $4.3 Million in federal aid and an additional $4 Million from the state including $3.8 Million in Connect Oregon funds and a $52,631 ConnectOregon Rural Airport (CORA) grant. It remains unclear as to why urban airports such as Salem and Redmond are receiving money specifically set aside for rural airports. Salem recently lost its designation as a commercial airport and is now classified as general aviation.

Essential Airport Services Subsidies

     Astoria and Newport Airports' aspirations for commercial status were stymied by the loss of a controversial $3.6 Million ConnectOregon SeaPort Airline subsidy,[44] which was discontinued due to lack of passengers using the service.

Concluding Remarks

     The FAA and State of Oregon's long standing policy of flinging generous cash awards at poorly performing airports must be terminated. During the past 12 years over $186 Million in public money was either spent or earmarked on behalf of the airports reviewed in this paper yet the majority, if not all, of these facilities fail to generate revenue. In addition, their collective operational count is on a dramatic downward spiral.

     A number of airports not mentioned in this report including, but by no means limited to, Hillsboro, Troutdale, Scappoose, McMinnville, Tillamook, and Astoria along with numerous other state airports are typically receiving regular handouts to keep them afloat or for questionable expansion projects.

     Airports throughout Oregon - commercial, public and private - have plenty of excess capacity, thus there is no justification for expansion projects that encroach on prime farmland, erode livability, generate excessive noise, spew lead and other toxins, increase CO2 emissions, lower property values, and compromise the quality of life for Oregon residents.

Sources - see "Comments"

Friday
Jul252014

IN THE NEWS...  

Why voters aren't angrier about economic inequality
New York Times
      "Why don’t governments in democratic societies do more to combat income inequality? Scholars have grappled with this question for years. The median voter theory, a longstanding workhorse of political science, predicts that politicians hoping to get elected will seek to close a growing income gap to woo the big bulk of voters in the middle who feel left behind by the fortunate few.

     Yet elegant as it is, this idea doesn’t quite mesh with reality. Research reveals little connection between the income gaps in any given country and its government’s effort to close it by taxing the rich to spend on the poor. There are good reasons why not. The poor vote less than the rich, reducing their electoral clout. And they don’t vote exclusively on the basis of their economic self-interest, but are often swayed by noneconomic issues, like abortion, the environment or gun control."  

     RAD:  None of this is surprising.  The keys here are that Americans have never seen politics through the lens of class consciousness.  The New Deal and Great Society programs moved Americans into the middle class.  When asked most Americans consider themselves "middle class" even though the so-called middle class is more and more the working poor! 

     As Europe becomes more "Americanized" the trend is evident there too - for good reason - "socialism" has worked in Europe via a generous welfare state to make the lives of the average Euro quite comfortable.  Not so in the USA as we all found out in the Great Recession.  But our memories are short and given the Red/Blue divide people focus on social issues - abortion, gay rights etc.   

Chuck Schumer is wrong about the top-two primary
FiveThirtyEight
      "In an op-ed in Tuesday’s New York Times, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York called for an end to partisan primaries and the implementation of a top-two system nationwide, asserting that such a change would lessen the historic level of polarization between Democrats and Republicans. According to Schumer, a Democrat, all we need to do to get more moderates elected is use the system put in place in California. There, all candidates, regardless of party identification, face off against one another in the primary. The two top vote-getters advance to the general election. Here’s the problem with Schumer’s argument: There isn’t much evidence to support it."

     RAD:  A top-two primary would privilege candidates with access to big money and/or name familiarity.  Neither would mean such candidates would win but it would drive out insurgent candidates who want to challenge the status quo in either party. 

     The idea that the top-two primary would move electoral politics to the center may or may not be true, it depends on the context of specific House, Senate or state races.  Besides, what's so cool about being a moderate? 

     To assume "moderates" have some special wisdom is counter to our history.  Most of the progressive reforms came from the far left outside the mainstream of either major party, so gerryrigging an election system to move ideas to the "radical center" is a mistake. 

     The failure of bi-partisanship in the current political system goes to a deeper divide in the USA between Red and Blue voters not a flaw in our primary system. Going to an open primary system where anyone can vote in the primary of their choice is a better reform. 

Oregon groups show support for youngest immigrants
Public News Service
      "Most have not traveled this far north yet, but Oregonians are already expressing concern for the thousands of children and teens crossing the U.S. border to escape violence and poverty in their Central American homelands. On Wednesday a group of labor, religious and immigrants' rights organizations gathered to declare the wave of unaccompanied children arriving on the nation's southern border deserve the same rights as other newcomers to the U.S., including legal representation to fairly determine their ultimate immigration status. Dave Fidanque, executive director with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon, says access to legal representation is the motivation behind a class-action lawsuit filed this month in Seattle."

     RAD:  It's good to know labor, religious and immigrant rights groups in Oregon are stepping up.  NPR reported on Massachusetts Governor Devall Patrick's offer to use a military base on Cape Cod to offer sanctuary to some of the refugees from Central America.  His idea was met by strong opposition from locals near the base on Cape Cod. 

     The comments were racist in nature and exihibit an "ill liberal" side of the Bay State.  Such sentiments are deeply embedded in a state which greeted Irish immigrants with similar xenophobia.  Anybody familiar with the Boston school desegregation crisis back in the '70s is not surprised.  Having vacationed and having family on the Cape, it's a sad commentary. 

 

Thursday
Jul242014

RESER'S PLAYS HILLSBORO

Reser's Fine Foods wants property tax breaks upon move from Beaverton to Hillsboro
Oregonian

     "Reser's Fine Foods hopes to win up to five years in property tax breaks upon moving production to Hillsboro, but company and city officials are mum about details. The food manufacturer announced last week that it will move work done at two Beaverton production and distribution facilities to a new 310,000-square foot plant in Hillsboro. The new building, expected to be completed by fall 2015, will have 35 percent more capacity than the two Beaverton facilities combined, the company said. Reser's has applied to be part of Hillsboro's North Industrial Area Enterprise Zone. Under the state's enterprise zone program, cities can offer property tax relief to businesses that expand facilities and employment in Oregon."

     RAD:  Corporations which are now "people" according to the Supremes will do anything they can to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. 

     Multi-nationals are moving corporate headquarters from the USA to tax sheltered nations in Europe or the Caribbean to avoid US taxes.  Corporations shop around from state to state to find a safe haven from taxes and to reap tax benefits via tax breaks, tax abatements or grants not loans which have to be paid back with interest.  Now a popular local firm, Reser's is playing the game too - pitting Beaverton vs. Hillsboro.  As with SIPs, ConnectOregon grants, the Reser's bid to Hillsboro is undercover via a non-disclosure agreement with city officials in Hillsboro. 

     This is another illustration that the taxpayers need a state law on the books which requires total disclosure and an audit of such "deals" so we know what our tax gifties are buying.  Otherwise local pols are going to roll over every time on the mantra that such deals create jobs.  If you don't trust banks "too big to fail" then why would one trust Nike, INTEL and now Reser's dear citizens of Beaver Nation?  Rah, rah - go Beavs!  If you buy Reser's fine foods bull just mark "stupid" on your forehead...   Mayor Willey - step up and apply the paint.  This give a new twist that "all politics is local."  

   

Thursday
Jul242014

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

     I've posted articles on the top left and right sidebars which are very interesting reading on a variety of issues. 

     On the Left:  The Middle East is a geo-political quagmire more complex than one imagines - see the chart to sort it all out.  Building highways to "nowhere" makes no sense as Sarah Palin taught us but building highways at all may be worse than that - see the California spin on this subject.  We like to think the US is "exceptional" - well of course we are, increasingly in all the wrong ways!  Corporations care more about their shareholders than their responsibility to invest and/or pay taxes.  

     On the Right:  The pro-Israel lobby is one of the most powerful K-Street bullies on the block in DC.  With the savagery in Gaza, it's about time we pulled the plug!  We went to war in Iraq to remove WMDs when at home we have them in the bushels, AK 47s et al.  It's time to end our gun fetish by background checks of ALL gun purchases, period!  If you are a "no new taxes" person - check out how Kansas is self-destructing by cutting taxes.  Even George H. W. Bush (I) learned the hard way pledging "no new taxes" was a dumb promise, now a Bush-lite gov is learning the lesson.