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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hacienda CDC uses public funds, creates private towaway zone on public property

Based in NE Portland in the Cully neighborhood, Hacienda Community Development Corporation has provided services to low-income and immigrant populations for years, but under its current leadership has taken a bizarre turn where Predatory Towing and affordable housing and community building intersect.
No apartment landlord in NE Portland is responsible for more towed vehicles than Hacienda, allowing commission-paid tow truck drivers employed by Retriever and Sergeant's to jack-at-will among the tenants of Hacienda's publicly-funded apartment properties.
In 2006 alone, Hacienda CDC's Cully neighborhood apartments generated 155 tows for Retreiver and Sergeants, more than all of the other apartment complexes in the area added together.
Meanwhile, Hacienda relocated its staff offices to 5140 NE 42nd Street, where--with Bertha Ferran's juice as Chair of Hacienda's Board and as a member of the Portland Development Commission's Board of Directors--Hacienda solved a parking shortage by claiming a section of public sidewalk as its own private parking area.
They posted signs along the sidewalk stating "Hacienda parking only--Violators will be towed," and claimed the entire section of public right of way for their own.
The signs Hacienda posted are illegal, and no one can be lawfully towed from there.
These signs exist merely to deter the public and the neighbors from parking there, and Hacienda staff and board members surely realize this. No landlord in NE Portland is deeper into towing than Hacienda, after all.
The other thing about these phony Hacienda towaway zone signs is the fact that they provide no information about who has your car if you were to be towed. There is no one to call but the police--and that means your tax dollars at work, baby.
To sum up: Hacienda CDC is the patrol towers' number one cash cow in the NE Cully neighborhood. Hacienda CDC contracts with Retriever and Sergeant's for that business.
But where Hacienda CDC offices on NE 42nd street, where their business and residential neighbors have to live with what parking is available, Hacienda CDC claims public property for its own and has custom-made signs proclaim it so.
So why didn't Hacienda contract with either of its towing predators to keep its NE 42nd sidewalk clear?
You'll have to ask Bertha Ferran and the Hacienda staff about that one.
Here's an excerpt from the Hacienda CDC website:
"Hacienda’s mission work in Oregon takes place at the dynamic interplay of collaboration, imagination, generosity and resourcefulness with our partners at the federal, state, city and private sectors. Together we boast an impressive list of accomplishments, including the development of over 325 units of affordable housing serving over 1,200 predominantly Latino residents in northeast Portland; the start up of a community-based credit union; the development of a primary healthcare clinic serving the un/under-insured; and three other community centers whereby a vast array of culturally-appropriate instruction and social services are provided daily."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jim Pepper Remembrance Band returning to Portland

The Jim Pepper Remembrance Band returns to the Blue Monk on SE Belmont in Portland for two nights only, Friday and Saturday, March 16 & 17.

Tickets are $ 12 general admission or $ 6 with student ID

Next Remembrance Band performances:

April 7, 2007
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

(On the occasion of the dedication of Jim Pepper's saxophone to the NMAI collection.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

SJM 6 on the National Guard and preventing foreign wars

74th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2007 Regular Session

Senate Joint Memorial 6

Sponsored by Senator Avel GORDLY
(at the request of Sean Cruz)


Urges Congress to pass legislation requiring declaration of National Energy Emergency prior to deployment of National Guard troops in foreign war.


To the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled:

We, your memorialists, the Seventy-fourth Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent as follows:

Whereas the United States has recently developed a policy of extensively using the National Guard to fight foreign wars; and

Whereas this policy has burdened a small number of American citizens who are members of the National Guard and their families with extraordinary, open-ended sacrifice, while the vast majority of American citizens make no sacrifice whatsoever; and

Whereas this policy is unfair and morally repugnant to the ideals under which this nation was founded; and

Whereas the cost of energy is integral to the cost of war, and the nation's dependency on foreign sources of energy is a continuing, contributing cause to the onset and prosecution of foreign wars; and

Whereas should this nation go to war in a foreign land, it should do so with a policy of shared sacrifice and a policy of energy conservation designed to reduce dependency on foreign sources of energy; and

Whereas this nation has often failed to provide adequately for the postwar needs of its veterans and their families, contributing greatly to the insecurity and suffering of those deployed to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and

Whereas a National Energy Emergency imposing a surtax on foreign sources of energy, wherein said revenues would fund the long-term medical, housing, educational and employment needs of members of the National Guard and their families who are subject to deployment orders, would reduce the insecurity and suffering of said members and their families; and

Whereas a National Energy Emergency imposing a surtax on foreign sources of energy, wherein said revenues would fund the long-term medical, housing, educational and employment needs of members of the National Guard and their families who are subject to deployment orders, while the nation is in the crisis of a foreign war, would reduce the nation's consumption of and dependency on foreign sources of energy and thus would contribute positively to the nation's war effort; and

Whereas the disruption to the normal lives of National Guard members and their families by the extraordinary, open-ended sacrifice demanded of them by the President's policies requires an extraordinary commitment in kind by the nation; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That we, the Seventy-fourth Legislative Assembly, on behalf of the citizens of Oregon, respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to immediately enact legislation declaring a National Energy Emergency, recognizing that many members of the National Guard are already deployed in a foreign war; and be it further

Resolved, That no future deployments of National Guard members to a foreign war should occur without the threshold step of the declaration of a National Energy Emergency and the imposition of a national energy surtax; and be it further

Resolved, That the long-term medical needs of National Guard members and their families will be met regardless of the physical, mental or emotional nature of their conditions; and be it further

Resolved, That a copy of this memorial shall be sent to the Senate Majority Leader, to the Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Representatives and to each member of the Oregon Congressional Delegation.