The Nose turned to the paper of record last Thursday and learned something valuable beyond the meltdowns of Tom DeLay, polar ice caps and Iraq.
He learned that Portland isn't the City that Works, it's the City that Task Forces.
Portland has had a task force on public involvement and another on dog crap in parks. And now, the wizards at the city are creating task forces for: (1) Dumpsters on city sidewalks; (2) street lighting and the damage it inflicts on trees; and (3) public restrooms in Chinatown (true story-it's called the Public Toilets Research Group).
Where does the Nose sign up?
'Course, it would be too easy to point out that in Portland, no idea is too small to study. And really, how constructive would it be to suggest that task forces are milk-livered excuses for real, decisive executive action? (C'mon, folks, take a stand: Honey Buckets or Sani-cans!)
Instead, the Schnozz wants to help. And so he'd like to point out other pressing issues this city should task-force on (yes, it's now a verb):
The Fistful-of-Dollars Council to Scrutinize Live Sex Shows to Make Double- and Triple-Sure They Comply with Last Week's Oregon Supreme Court Ruling. Join the Nose in making sure Portland retains its "friendly" relationship for at least one industry (strip clubs) now that the court has ruled that anything goes.
The Group to Find Portland More Sister Cities. With only nine in the mix, Portland is perilously close to a calendar day bare of visiting dignitaries to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Bastille Day, the Ascension of the Shogun to the Throne and Rosh Hashanah.
The Blue-Ribbon Tutors and Lawyers Committee to Help Oregon State University's Football Players. Saturday's story in The Oregonian detailed how the school has fumbled away black players by offering little academic help in Corn Valley. Now three white players are charged in another student's death.
The Panel to Find Something on AM Radio Beyond Polemic Blather, Religious Nuts and Sports Screamers. Put down your iPods and your petitions to save run-down houses. Get behind the ultimate preservationist cause: saving AM radio as an alternative when you're sick of FM music that's months or decades old.
The Super-Secret Star Chamber to Mediate Between Road-Rage Drivers and Arrogant Bicyclists. Imagine the fun listening to "I paid for these roads so get out of my way before my SUV radiator runs up your tight ass'' vs. "I'm a special person doing my special part for this special planet by running every light and dreaming that Portland one day will be like Beijing.'' Let the good times roll.
And finally, the Special Select Investigative Committee to Come Up with Something for Politicians to Do. Agenda: (1) Discover one reason why Gov. Ted Kulongoski is running for re-election; (2) Unearth one additional task for Commissioner Erik Sten while he hopes for PGE's latest shell game to collapse; (3) Hunt for one qualified person in Multnomah County who has a chance to beat Chairwoman Diane Linn.