Once Again, the Columbian Fails the Community

by lewwaters

Where both the Columbian and the Oregonian fail the communities they are supposed to serve, the Willamette Week blows the lid off of the CRC project.

A Bridge Too False “Turns out most of the case for the $3.6 billion Columbia River Crossing Isn’t true.”

“More than 20 lawmakers—Republicans and Democrats—have raised hard questions about the project. They say Oregon hasn’t taken a serious look at the project’s risks or at cheaper ways to fix the traffic problems at the Oregon-Washington border.”

“In the current legislative session, lawmakers have debated the proper size of chicken cages, whether it’s OK to use plastic bags, and what kind of dirt should be named the official state soil. But they have only glanced at the project known as the CRC.”

“We’ve had no substantive debate on the project,” says State Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland), a CRC critic who calls the project “a steamroller headed off a cliff.”

Myth No. 1: Spending billions on a new I-5 bridge project at the Columbia River will solve congestion.
Myth No. 2: We have to build a bridge because the traffic is only going to get worse.
Myth No. 3: The current bridge is too dangerous.
Myth No. 4: We have a plan to pay for it.

Millions of tax dollars have been wasted to date in useless “studies” with pie in the eye promises while citizen concerns have been scoffed at.

We elected a new mayor on his many promises of opposing tolls and he flip flopped soon after taking his oath of office. Instead of heeding the words of concerned citizens, efforts have been made to silence those voices or at the least, marginalize them.

Both the Columbian and the Oregonian refuse to take a critical look at this multi-Billion dollar boondoggle that, as uncovered by the Willamette Week, will not ease congestion and would only improve travel time to Portland by one minute.

As I said in a previous post, “people will turn to where they get the news first and all too often, it isn’t the Columbian.”

We deserve to know all there is about this proposed project. We deserve elected officials that represent the citizens and not the fatcats who stand to reap massive wealth by forcing this upon us. And, we deserve a newspaper that reports the news, not takes sides in agendas.

UPDATE: It should not be too surprising to see Mayor Tim Leavitt come out against the article critical of the CRC in the Willamette Week. In a reply to me on the Columbian’s web page, he has stated, “The Willamette Week article lacks credibility and substance. There are unsubstantiated and opinionated statements by the “reporter”….or editor, I’m not quite sure if its supposed to be a story or opinion piece. Seems more like a political blog than anything else.”

What the hell, right Tim? It’s only future generations getting stuck with the bills while the fatcats in the Loot Rail mafia become wealthy.

28 Responses to “Once Again, the Columbian Fails the Community”

  1. I liked Mayor McFly’s take on it, though he seemed to miss the irony:

    “The facts don’t fit into my biased, build it whether we need it, want it or can afford it notions because my boss stands to make bank off it, so therefore the source has no credibility or substance.”

    I literally upchucked all over my keyboard.

  2. Lew, Your link to the columbian notes is SO filled with irony that you may want to relook at it. 🙂 Is article about Pit Bull dogs being removed from Vancouver, the same as Tim’s commentary on the wweeks CRC article? Though i DO love the connection!

  3. The Columbian has been failing the community for years, Lew. That’s why downtown VanGoober is dead and The Columbian is bankrupt.

    The first thing we need to do is throw the political morons out of office, and the second thing we need to do is let businesses know that The Columbian is no “friend” to the community and it doesn’t deserve any advertising business.

    It’s time to cut these arrogant people off at the nuts.

  4. Jeremy, I guess if they want to, they can remove certain comments of Leavitt’s, my guess would be to protect him.

    But, funny thing about computers I picked up on.

    It’s called a “screen shot.” 😉

    Just like his many words of certainty that there are no circumstance under which he would support tolling the new I-5 bridge are forever recorded in video by CVTV, screen shots of comments made are around far longer than we are.

  5. Jeremy, they have not removed any of his comments, they are all there.

    I too had trouble accessing comments earlier this morning and I think there was a temporary glitch with the facebook commenting (my guess).

    But, all of Tim’s comments are there still, the Columbian has not scrubbed any of them.

  6. Hey Lew, just catching up on the articles through the C and your writes here. Keep up the good work…and thanks for bringing up the W Week article which ol’ Timmy Boy is nervous about!

  7. Thanks GO, nice to see you comment.

    That WW article is one of the most credible and substantiated revelations I have seen yet on this CRC fiasco. No wonder it frightens Timmy so much.

  8. What’s so ironic about the whole shebang when it comes to the CRC project is that the facts have been there all along. They’ve been transformed in the public eye to fit the needs of special interests…so fact finding is next to impossible when it comes to trying to find the truth, Lew. W W has only touched the surface on their article and that bothered ol’ Timmy.

  9. The facts have always been there and the average person has always been able to pick them out, Goldie. It’s just that the elites, the Leftist troll-goons, and The Columbian have worked their rears off trying to cover them up.

    It’s most refreshing to see the WW publish the facts. The only one thing that bothers me is that people still insist on calling the bridge boondoggle a “$3.6 billion” project when it’s actually a “$10 billion-plus” project.

  10. True, very true Jack. The powers that be don’t like to be reminded about costs accrued over an extended period of time with interest and the possibility of materials rising in price, along with issues with breach of contract, contract extensions and the like. That makes them very nervous when common sense plays in the picture. I believe “common sense” is no longer in the vocabulary of the powers that be.

  11. Good to see you posting again, GoldenOldie. So when are we going to see you writing some wonderful blog about the wonderful things you do in Clark County? (And no, it does not have to be political related, you can hand that off to others that do such a FINE job having fun with it.)

    Now to my central points. If you read the comments here, the 3.6 Billion over 30 to 50 years depending on how the bond issue is written by the state of Washington ~ Oregon or the feds that is going to cover the bridge is going to have to what I call and have some form of page that outlines the Interest and inflation costs accurately spelled out.

    So if say the costs to build light rail or some other part of this system goes way higher than estimated (and yes, any sane person knows that most government projects are going to have some cost over-run or a change order to fix minor problems in the project) could add serious amount of money to the cost?

    I have some problems with some of David Madore’s projected costs for the I-205 bridge cost. I would love to sit down with him and find out his source for the cost of the bridge. Seems to me that twenty to twenty-five years since the conception and build out of that bridge along with inflation and possible interest payments, that bridge cost actually might be higher than stated, UNLESS the bridge was paid for with cash by a similar confab that is doing the similar financing plan to the crc but without tolls than I can see how his estimates are more accurate.

  12. Jeremy, I can’t speak for Mr. Madore, but I did find this Financial Analysis commissioned by the CEO of Plaid Pantry which has a breakdown of total costs which definitely reflect what Mr. Madore has been saying.

    Click to access CRC_Financial_Analysis_by_Impresa_Inc.pdf

  13. Ahh. I remember Mr. Cortrights work. I’ll look at your link soon.

    Anyone agree with my comments that the local elites are just waiting until January 2012 to impose the new, special transportation benefit district?

  14. Of course they are dragging their feet, Jeremy. The last thing any of them want is a county-wide vote. They know it will be defeated.

    This way, once they set up their sub-district, they get the tax increase and all of those who were denied a voice in it will also pay the tax, since most of them will have to come into the tax district to shop and seek entertainment.

    Pretty slick of them, isn’t it?

  15. It’s kind of a one-two punch by the powers that be, I’d say. The sad part of it all is so many will wonder after the fact just what or who it was who threw the Machiavellian shot and hit them with the virtual two-by-four on the backside of the head and in the pocketbook.

  16. And you know what’s worse? I feel that some of elected officials don’t give a damn. I won’t pick and name them here but it just pissed me off! I have spent nearly 5 to 6.5 years with this CRC project when it was first proposed and never once did I hear objections unless it was for election purposes. (two exceptions DO come to mind in this regard though.)

    It just does not seem fair? I really thought I might have to come out and speak out publicly about this subject. But as I said in my latter paragraph, do you think anyone would listen? I still hear a lot of solid cicacadia chriping and the same revolving 12 people come over and over again to the same local political leadership and nothing changes.

    Do any of you see any thing worthwhile, that I may have missed?

  17. Oh, since most do not know, I DO in what I perceive as the subdistrict area of west Vancouver, so I will be paying this in some form or another. If I moved out of this area, I doubt I would escape it if I wanted to continue to live in Clark County.

  18. I just watched the video presentation on couv.com highlighting Ms. Tiffany Couch’s investigation into the funding issues by the CRC and how they have no Financial Statement, no Funding Source and what they have provided thus far. All those red flags she spoke of in the presentation….

    All I can say is…Wow!

    I’m speechless as to how our elected officials have allowed this farce to go on for so long. David Madore absolutely has the best interests of the taxpayers at heart. By hiring Ms. Couch, he has opened a can of worms that NOBODY should ignore.


    Did I say…Wow???

  19. Thanks for bringing this link to Vancouver Lew…WW is pretty good at covering things that the Oregonian and the Columbian would much rather ignore. One of my favorite WW loot rail expose’s was a couple of years ago when they showed that Trimet collected less than $90,000 a year in fares…

    I’m relieved that at least some Oregonian legislators have decided to take a serious look at the CRCP’s fantasy numbers; as opposed to the mind-numbed robots on this side of the River who are still spreading the same old lies to justify their actions to date.

    Light rail and the entire CRC project need to be Campaign issue number one in the upcoming City Council elections in Vancouver. Larry Smith, Bart Hanson and especially Pat Campbell need to be held to account for all of the unanimous votes they have cast to support this fiasco, not to mention all the money they continue to flush down the drain on the Waterfront Project.

    Did anyone catch that City Council had the first reading last night to sell $12,000,000 worth of bonds for the project, paid for with what little remained of the REET1 funds, and will supposedly be paid in the future by all the scads of money the City thinks they will make from Condo sales…

    OBTW, let me say that I’m grateful to have a place to comment periodically that does not involve Facebook, or the Columbian news room staff talking trash about me (and many others from what I hear from a particular digruntled former employee…). Thanks Lew. I worked a website for three years and I just don’t have it in me to do that any more.

    Funny how you can manage the comments here Lew, but the Columbian cannot, no matter how much money they continue to throw at the effort…

    Cheers, and good morning GO!!!

  20. Oh boy, could I talk about a certain local news entity and how they have failed the people of Clark County…and it’s not just the CRC either. But alas, I’ll keep those comments to myself, lol.

    A good morning to you too as well, Bob Koski. Glad to see you’re around!

    And Lew, thanks for brainstorming to generate your web blog. My apologies for not posting sooner…although I guess it’s better late than never.

  21. Liberal “elitists” are the ones who can’t handle comments and real discussion. The Columbian is run by Liberal “elitists”.

    I’ve never understood how the notion got started that all “discussion” had to be “milquetoast”. After all, we’re dealing with subjects that greatly affect people’s lives and freedoms here. It’s understandable that there will be a lot of emotions connected to any “discussions”.

    Lefties just expect everybody to swallow their crap “quietly”, I guess.

  22. Okay now…on June 15th, the Columbian ran an article about yet another postponement of the Voter’s rights to decide whether or not we wanted to support light rail maintenance and operations and Bus Rapid Transit funding. At first I thought…yup, here’s another thorn in the side of the taxpayers… but then I began to realize something here. The Board of Directors at C-Tran are delaying the vote not because of the BIG election year but for the fact that if we put a Republican in the Presidential seat, the federal funding for the light rail project will be all but lost. They know all too well that if our Federal Budget Deadline in September is not met and a Repub president would push for major cut backs, it would be yet another waste of taxpayer dollars to push for this budget request by C-Tran.

    Just my thoughts.

  23. Goldie, even though presidents suggest cuts or increases, it is congress that actually does it.

    In August 2008, the Columbian ran an article claiming President Bush had designated the Columbia River Crossing as “High Priority.”

    I still stand on that we were promised a county-wide vote last year and are not getting it. When Loot Rail does go on the ballot, I have no doubt now that it will be in a gerrymandered sub-district and the entire county will end up paying the tax.

    I will vote NO on any and every thing associated with C-Tran.

  24. Well Lew, now I see Rep. Herrera has made a stance on the matter and expects C-Tran to make this a county-wide vote. If she keeps this up, she just might sway more into supporting her rather than badmouthing her.

    Now as far as whether or not I vote no on the two ballots, there’s no question in my mind as to how I’d vote. It too would be a double NO – not because of Light Fail and certainly not because of a BRT system since I’m one to support BRT. It’s because of the mere fact that we the voters are the ones to pay for this mess. C-Tran already received a state sales tax increase and in return…they had to cut service and lay off employees. The surprise of funds discovered a few years ago which was generated by advertising on the buses should have gone to pay for the drivers’ wages and continue service to areas affected by the cutbacks. Instead, the funding went to studies of light rail. That my dear sir is why I will not support a transit service with a Yes vote.

  25. Addendum to my last comment. Lew, it took me forever to find anything regarding the “discovered advertising revenue” by C-Tran, but the link in this article will point folks to the right direction. BTW, the advertising revenue is still a source of funding for C-Tran’s portion of the LRT into Vancouver. Also, in a PDF document in 2009, C-Tran was stating there would be 4/10’s of a percent sales tax increase over the span of 20 years as opposed to the 3/10’s of a percent they are telling us now. I’m curious if that one’s still in plan. I have errands to run but when I am done, I will provide the link to that as well. Anyhow, the first link describes the windfall and where the money went:


  26. I think it’s safe to say that all C-Tran funding should be voted down until the jerks get the message that the people aren’t swallowing their crap.


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