02-19-2017  8:47 am      •     

Say what you want to say, feel how you want to feel, but Portland is THE City!  And you are free and welcome to disagree.  But if you live here, and especially if you were born and raised here, you know what I mean when I say that Portland is quite an interesting city with much to explore and plenty to be proud of.  And yes there is plenty to complain about; and I confess I'm guilty as charged of being a critic of old Stumptown. 

Here is my challenge and stake to any who would still adamantly disagree: Give me one at-bat (three swings) at showing you what the town has to offer before you throw in the towel on Bridgetown. 

We're bordered or split by two flows of water; not prime drinking water, but it is wet and deep and good for trolling and sunbathing.  Our rose garden is world class in the spring, our food carts to die for and our basketball team… OURS!  We also have a great music scene and awesome live arts including dance, theater, and gallery shows.  And with all this, folks still complain there's nothing to do.  There is something more to that, something deep and hidden, but not for now.  Don't have the time or space to delve into the cultural-racial-economic undertones through the city.  Check next week for more on that.  Like I was saying, we've got a plethora of options for the tourist and the resident alike.

But I hear more than a few cats mention that they want to get out as soon as they can.  And I have to admit there does seem to be an abundance of ex-Portlanders in the Atlanta area, but I digress.  Oh, and let us not forget the rain has been the culprit for many a relocation.  If I told you those drizzles were only temporary, you would punch me after two years.  So I say you just have to deal with it.  I actually appreciate it.  Somehow though, it feels like we need something.  For the record: anyone who simply has found another place more desirable and/ or fitting to live, or for business purposes -- I respect and commend that.  But for those that live the 503, not just live in it -- we need a shot to the heart!

With all of the jewels of the City of Roses- -- like Saturday Market, and MAX, and MAX trains on Saturday Nights, and iMax and probably a few thousand males named Max --  how can you not love this weird place?  And we have to act on that love!  Absent of all Max references, we've got to start calling out the good things about our city!  For ALL PEOPLE!  Portland is a hodgepodge of people, although true diversity is still a challenge, it's one we're facing.  From the folks I know, most of them complain about Portland and yet love her just the same.  Some of the others really truly love Portlandia (the show and/ or the area) and reside here on purpose.  I even know a guy who moved here, couldn't get into his line of work so he went back to where he was from and when he could he came back to look for work again.  Only to finally land a gig that worked to be able to call him or herself a web-footed Portlander.  And then I've got those that flop in between "I hate it and I am going to leave" (but only go visit relatives in the Central time zone for 3 months or less) or "I hate it and just hate it".  I'm saying there are people who complain about life here because that is the popular thing to do, and then for others it's just not a good fit.  Either way DO YOU!  Don't get caught up in the next man's story of glory and riches in another time zone.  There is a reason why he is telling you those stories in THIS time zone!

Those of use that love Portland, and those of us that like Portland, and those of us that "tolerate well in public" Portland need to start pumping positive blood back into OUR CITY!  Not tiger blood like Charlie Sheen, unless it's proven and tested by the FDA to work for cities of our size, demographic and socioeconomic status, whatever it is it had got to be good!  Just like media-geeks, we've got to target our message, shape our brand and create our image.  We're far from a small town, although we still enjoy many small town amenities, like manageable traffic, and clean air and water (Oh, I love the water here!!!).  In a concerted effort, we need to start commanding what people think, and invariably say about Portland.  If we don't who will?  Better yet, where will they get their information?  When you think about it, bad information plays a critical part.  If you've not lived here for a considerable amount of time, or you haven't gone out and found those little hidden treasures my city has to offer, or if you stumbled upon a landmark and just didn't get the experience you were expecting, anyone of those scenarios and I can see why someone might not love P.O.  Like I said, three swings and I can show you some things this city has to offer…

When I first got here, I don't remember anyone being all too excited about being here.  Yet this seemed like a pretty alright destination for a little brother out of Cali by way of Seattle.  And no, I didn't like it at all when we first moved here.  But I had no information.  Now that I can honestly say that I know Portland, I love Portland!  And I want more people to know that, and know why.  One way or another, I'm going to make sure people know that my city is a great city, full of great people, places and things. And any day now we're all going to wake up and realize that, and scream it from the mountain top.  Not saying Portland is the very best city.  It has some to-be-desireds, and some growing to do, and I'm not even saying it is my very favorite city.  It is not the city I was born in, and is barely the city I can say I was raised in, but it is my home, and will be!  And more of us that feel that way ought to stand up and say it!  Come on, we can do it!  It's up to us to breathe new blood into the heart!  For the record, Atlanta, California, Nevada, Chicago and DC/ DMV. It's All Love!

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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