Oct 21, 2014

Comcast couldn't sell their way out of a paper bag- My "Comcast Sucks" Story.

Comcast online chat. Wanted to change around some services. Lengthy drawn out chat.

I continued to state specifically what I wanted.   Five times. A net upgrade! An easy sale for Comcast!

Blah blah online agent types one more question etc etc.

 Comcast chat agent gives me a sales pitch for the product I already asked them to add. (You made the sale, Comcast, CLOSE THE DEAL!).

 Sales pitch sales pitch sales pitch for things I don't want

 Finally I typed (for the sixth time) please add X and remove Y,  It was a going to be a net upgrade for Comcast, for crying out loud.

The online chat person typed they can add X but cannot remove Y, I must call to remove Y (Like I want t spend three hours on the phone with Comcast asking hundreds of times to remove a product.)

 You lost the sale, Comcast.

A sure thing.

You didn't even have to ask me for the sale!

 What losers.

Oct 16, 2014

Parks Pants On Fire-- via Snowjob

It's only October, too early for snow in our part of Oregon. Guess again!  Visitors to last night's Troutdale city council  meeting experienced not a snow storm, but a  snow job of monstrous proportions. 

Last night, Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust  introduced a Proclamation that would  ". . .recognize the "Springwater Area" and its regional environmental designation in support of volunteer efforts to protect our way of life through the stewardship of natural resources and in so doing,  support citizen health and wellbeing, healthy outdoor activities and the growth of our local economy."

Mayor Daoust invited Cathy Sherick from a group promoting the  "Springwater Parks and Community District" to explain what the proclamation was all about. Sherick told the city council her group was only there to get the city to agree to to the concept of the proclamation. 

The meeting became heated when several city councilors objected to the proclamation, saying this was the first they had seen or heard of it. A majority of the city councilors spoke against even considering the proclamation until they had more facts about the proposed Springwater concept. Mayor Daoust seemed surprised and angry at the mass objections from the rest of the city council.

Mayor Daoust repeatedly echoed Sherick's claim that the proclamation was only to support the concept of a Springwater parks area.  You can watch the fireworks-- or snow job, to be more accurate, here: (the action begins at approx. 23:40 minutes into the video)   http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T02554&video=213009.

In spite of both Sherick and Daoust admitting  once or twice they were really talking about  forming a new parks tax district, they both talked out of both sides of their mouths and insisted they weren't talking about a  new parks tax district. Hence, the snow job.

I don't object to anyone proposing a new parks district. It never hurts to listen to new ideas and proposals. But Mayor Daoust and Ms. Sherick, give me a break! Who do you think you're kidding by continually insisting you're only there to talk about flowery concepts in a flimsy proclamation!  

Both Daoust and Sherick know what they want. They want a new parks taxing district. They want the new parks district to take control of Troutdale's parks and increase taxes for Troutdale residents.  

For proof, here is the smoking gun text from the Springwater Parks and Community Districts own web site http://www.springwaterpcd.org/plan/

Getting to YES         

    2013 - 2016

Building and Sustaining the Effort
  • Assess community needs
  • Propose a district concept map 
  • Engage key community leaders and elected officials
  • Invite and involve community schools, sports groups, parents, health providers
  • Educate and inform the community
  • Develop funding plan
  • Secure additional resources
District Concept Development  
  • City approvals of Springwater Concept Proclamations
  • Gather feasibility data:  “Everyone puts coffee in the cup"
  • Formalize defined Springwater District area boundaries
  • Define key community challenges
  • Refine solutions
  • Design outcome measures
District Concept Refinement and Design
  • List new capital improvements and new development efforts
  • List upgrades to current parks and school operations and property
  • Design policy body: how to elect or appoint leadership
  • Staffing plan
  • District Model
  • Budget
  • File with Secretary of State
The Public Campaign
  • Implement a highly effective and large grass roots campaign / organizing effort
  • Voter information
  • Media, education and outreach
  • New media: Facebook, Twitter
District Referendum goes to Voters                                                          November 2016

Compare the above actual goals listed on their web site with the flowery language of the proposed "proclamation":

I don't object to anyone proposing new ideas. However, you lose credibility if you attempt to hide behind feel-good proclamations and deny to an entire city council and Troutdale's residents your actual plans and motivations. The city council called out the baloney. They weren't fooled by this silly proclamation, not for one second. 

If you want a parks district, don't beat around the snow job bush! Proclaim what you want, up front and lay it out for everyone. And by the way, quit claiming  you're doing it "for the children".

 I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick and tired of the disingenuous baloney from our  local elected officials.

Sep 27, 2014

Troutdale City Council Campaigns: The Good, The Bad, The Empty.

They're not running against each other, but  Troutdale city council candidates David Ripma and Larry Morgan have both posted campaign videos on YouTube. And what about Morgan's opponent, Norm Thomas? Thomas has no campaign video, but we'll discuss his campaign web site.

In their videos, neither Ripma or Morgan said anything particularly valuable to potential voters regarding specific visions or goals for Troutdale. However, there was a tremendous difference in the impact of each video. 

First: the good: Morgan's video was short, concise, and to the point- about a minute and a half. He appealed to voter emotions by talking about growing up in Troutdale, and wanting to give his generation the same opportunities as previous generations.

Next: the bad: Ripma's video was extremely long, tedious, and unfortunately un-watchable due to Ripma's  decision to descend into policy wonk-speak. He droned on with numerous "umms" and aahs" about the tiniest details regarding a Troutdale city hall replacement.

He even contradicted himself regarding refurbishing the old city hall, saying refurbishing would be the "least expensive and best option". In his very next breath he said, "But that remains to be seen". Classic politician double-speak- Yes! But maybe No!

Ripma continues to drone on for the remaining video-over five minutes! The video violates a basic YouTube video rule: Grab their attention, keep it short, and use attention getting sound bites people will remember.

And last but most definitely the least: the empty. Incumbent Norm Thomas is Larry Morgan's opponent. Thomas doesn't have a video on YouTube. As far as I have seen, Thomas doesn't even have yard signs out yet. Thomas does, however, have a campaign web site.

On his website, Thomas listed several campaign endorsements, including the following:

PAUL THALHOFER, Mayor of Troutdale.

What can you say about a candidate for city council who claims to be endorsed by Thalhofer, who passed away seven months ago? It certainly shows a lack of respect for the late, great Paul Thalhofer, not to mention Troutdale voters.

There you have if so far. The good, the bad, and the empty of local political races in Troutdale.

Jul 13, 2014

Hey Troutdale Summerfest- It's All In the DETAILS!

Here are the covers of two Gresham Outlook  inserts inside today's newspaper, featuring  two of East County's favorite summertime events- The Gresham Arts Festival, and the Troutdale SummerFest.

Based on what you see on these covers, Here  are two trivia questions:

-What is the date of this year's Gresham Arts Festival?
-What is the date of this year's Troutdale Summerfest?