Thursday, June 14, 2018

Salem Is a Much Better Pick for Affordable Living than Portland

Elliot Njus of the Oregonian reports the "Average Oregon renter can no longer afford a typical one-bedroom apartment".
The average Oregon renter can no longer comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment even while working a full-time job, according to a new report.

The numbers from the National Low Income Housing Coalition's "Out of Reach" report show the escalating impact of rising housing costs across the state.
According to the report, a renter would have to make $36,161 a year to comfortably afford a typical one-bedroom rental in Oregon, but the average renter household in the state makes only $36,096.
In the Portland area, even the cost of a studio apartment exceeds the estimated median income for an average renter household. In both the Portland and Corvallis areas, a one-bedroom apartment is over-budget for the median renter household.
For some low-income renters, the outlook is even more bleak. There are only a handful of rural counties where the average one-bedroom apartment is affordable to a renter who works full-time earning the minimum wage.
The average hourly wage needed for someone living in the Portland metro area is $21.77 for a 40 hour work week. Someone in the Salem area needs 40% less: $12.85.

Here is a link to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's data on Oregon counties which also has a downloadable report on Oregon. A significant share of Oregonians rent: 39%. The main site link compares Oregon with other states. It also gives a map of contiguous Oregon local areas by entering the zipcode. Here's a screenshot of the greater Portland-Vancouver area for two-bedroom housing.



Here's Salem and surrounding area for two-bedroom rentals:


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Portland Makes School Zones/Child Safety Nearly Obsolete

Now that Portland has a 20 mph speed limit in all residential areas unless posted otherwise, it's kind of sad to see school zone warnings to slow down to 20 mph during school days and certain hours or when the school light is flashing. It's now school zone 24/7--which means with no relationship to the safety of children.

I took this photo outside Parkrose High School. Kids are no longer anything special.


I don't mind the slower speed. I'm not in such a hurry as I get older. But, I wonder at the reasoning.

They say reducing 5 mph to to 20 mph will make a big difference. I don't believe it. I bet there won't be significant drop in traffic injuries and fatalities, but there will be a lot more road rage as the vast slice of drivers in a hurry to get somewhere grind their teeth in residential areas.

Hey, if 5 mph makes such a big difference, why is Oregon going to raise truck speeds from 55 to 60 on some highways? Because it doesn't make such a big difference, that's why. Might even reduce accidents as car drivers aren't so frustrated by lower speed truck drivers.

Actually, a significant cause of fatal accidents is speeding which is highly related to age (young), gender (male), alcohol and motorcyles. The "20 is plenty people" have taken none of that into account.

People tend to drive at what they think is a safe speed. Slowing down to 20 in a school zone is made more palatable because one thinks of the increased likelihood of children in that area. Who is going to pay special attention to children's needs and school zones now? Not many and only when the school is on a faster speed street.

Where there isn't a similar increased likelihood of a special needs population in residential areas, it seems that there will be more vehicles ignoring the new law as an unreasonable limitation. From a National Conference of State Legislatures 2014 speed and speed limit report:
One of the most significant areas of state speed legislation in recent years has been raising speed limits. Studies have shown that increasing the speed limit does not necessarily lead to an equivalent increase in driving speed because drivers continue to drive at the rate of speed at which they feel comfortable.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Peter Iredale: 1906 to 2018

MaxRedline has a post up on the Peter Iredale with a current picture of the wreck remains.



Here's a postcard showing what it looked like when it foundered in 1906 from the Oregon Historical Society.


And one I took in 1986:


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Not Too Many Republican Conservatives in the Senate (or anywhere else)

Only 28 votes* against the budget bill that continues massive deficit spending. Sixteen were Republicans:

Burr (R-NC)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Corker (R-TN)
Crapo (R-ID)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Flake (R-AZ)
Grassley (R-IA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sasse (R-NE)
Toomey (R-PA)

Read 'em and weep. I guess Rand Paul was the only conservative senator running in the last election. Too bad I backed Cruz who caved. I'm glad to see Ben Sasse said no.

I have to agree with Mark Levin that this spending bill is a disgrace and mocks the "concern" Republicans have been spouting for so long about stealing from future generations to make life easy for the current one.
____
*I guess I have to applaud Senators Wyden and Merkley. They voted no even though it was based on politics rather than wanting a balanced budget. Still, a no vote is worth something.



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Will the Oregonian Spotlight the Thousands of Vulnerable Oregonians the Shutdown Will Hurt?

In October of 2013 the Oregonian was concerned about what a federal government shutdown would do to thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of "vulnerable Oregonians".


One wonders if the Oregonian is searching out some of the thousands of current vulnerable Oregonians this shutdown will hurt. We'll see if there is a front page story or two with heart tugging photo and personal stories that will be published within the next two weeks. The 2013 shutdown began October 1st and the Oregonian had the above story posted on the 11th.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful!

I'm thankful to the Lord for so much. Most recently this little guy.


Gratitude is the bedrock of a happy life. G. K. Chesterton wrote: "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. " (Short History of England, chapter 6)