Sure, Banfield Pet Hospital got some property tax breaks, but don't gloss over the fact that it was in Portland for 10 years ["The Starship Enterprise Zone," WW, April 9, 2014].
That's not exactly a drop in the bucket. Hundreds of people employed for 10 years is a significant economic impact, much more than $1.43 million in tax forgiveness that wouldn't have even been collected had the company not been here at all.
Somehow, I rather doubt the city of Portland promised Rodeo Drive by the end of the terms for the tax breaks.
This is a prime example of companies/corporations looking out for profits, period. Want to bet Vancouver gave away the bank to pull Banfield Pet Hospital across the river? At the end of those tax breaks, Banfield will relocate (additional tax breaks for the move) as well as pick up freebies from its next chump community.
I don't blame Banfield in the least; it's the ignorant politicians trying to make a name for themselves who sell out their communities.
—"Arm of Keaau"
As much as giving tax breaks to businesses may on the surface seem like a government giveaway, the reality is that other municipalities are willing to give these same financial incentives to companies. And just like with Banfield, the City Council either has to play that game, or watch as companies get poached.
What Portland does have going for it is, there are a ton of people who want to live in Portland (and not in the suburbs). What Portland needs to do is go after the kind of companies that see actually being in Portland as an advantage for attracting and keeping talent.
Stop giving subsidies and maybe address a better business climate? Oh, wait, this is Portland. My bad!
PPS DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES
Why would having kids not in school at all be the answer? ["Suspended Disbelief," WW, April 9, 2014.] Don't get me wrong—I don't think schools do enough to punish kids (which is why bullying is probably getting worse).
But there should be somewhere for the kids to go. They shouldn't just be let out of school. Isn't that sort of rewarding them? Even if it's a day or two, there should be a space for those kids who are issues—or have issues—and teachers/administrators trained to deal with them and hopefully help them.
The schools themselves are not places where kids with discipline problems are going to thrive, because the schools are not designed for them.
COUNTY CHAIR CANDIDATES
Jim Francesconi just showed how little he knows about the state of health care and the needs of the working poor ["One Question," WW, April 9, 2014].
Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act are not the answer to the county alcohol and drug treatment funding needs. The working poor are still falling through the gap without coverage, insufficient coverage, high out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
Affordable, high-quality services started by innovative thinkers and cooperation from county officials will do more to increase access than the ACA.
"We have better ways to feed really needy people"? What better way than to grow food?
I guess Deborah Kafoury doesn't have to worry about where her next meal is coming from, having collected a fat salary as county commissioner and an even fatter one should she win this election.
THE LOWDOWN ON PABST
An item on page 39 of your 2014 Bar Guide refers to Pabst Blue Ribbon as "a union beer," which implies that the "brewery" is staffed by union members. In fact, there is no Pabst brewery. The brand is what is known as a virtual brewery, in that all of the actual beermaking is contracted out, mostly to Miller.
The perceived hipness of PBR is based on a misperception that it is an old-school, blue-collar, union-friendly product, when in reality it is simply a name owned by a marketing group in Los Angeles. Caveat potor.
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