Yet Another PAALF Visioning Meeting

Dear Neighbors,


PAALF is hosting another visioning meeting specifically for the site at NE MLK Jr Blvd & Aberta Street.


When asked: What does PAALF say to the stakeholders that diligently worked on this plan for over 10 years, who still live in the neighborhood, who still want to see this plan come to fruition, is their work to be swept under the rug? Cyreena Boston Ashby replied: “Not everyone was involved in the 10-year process”


When Ms. Ashby stated that PAALF was “never” against Trader Joe’s. PAALF’s open letter was read back to her that stated “A new Trader Joe’s will increase the desirability of the neighborhood to non-oppressed populations, thereby increasing the economic pressures that are responsible for the displacement of low-income and Black Residents” “Given the long-standing list of promises made, and yet to unfulfilled, by the PDC to prevent community displacement, PAALF is and will remain OPPOSED to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.”


Ms. Ashby said “In terms of that letter, perhaps that was A MISS in terms of our messaging.”


I think PAALF needs to hear from the community that went to the DOZENS of meetings and spent HUNDREDS of volunteer hours that we don’t want to start back at square one. We had a vision that represented many stakeholders in community (including the several long-time African American residents of Portland). The genesis of that vision can be viewed at this link:


PAALF took this development hostage and has caused great harm to the owners of businesses at Vanport Square and to Colas Construction, who was awarded the project. They need to be held accountable for the harm they’ve caused and the fracturing of this community. If they want to be one voice at the table that is wonderful. If they want to dictate the terms and lead the process of moving forward for this development that is not acceptable in my humble opinion. I believe, and many others believe that the onus is on the City and PDC to get this project back on track with Majestic Realty and Trader Joe’s. A letter signed by many members of the Black community (including the original developers of Vanport Square can be found here):


The history of gentrification, redlining and displacement of the Black community are important topics to continue discussing, but not at the cost of this development.



Jennifer Jardee-Borquist

What if the world were 100 people??

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

What if the world were 100 people??


May 22, 2012

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female 50 would be male

20 would be children There would be 80 adults, 14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be: 61 Asians 12 Europeans 13 Africans 14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be: 31 Christians 21 Muslims 14 Hindus 6 Buddhists 12 people who practice other religions 16 people who would not be aligned with a religion.
17 would speak a Chinese dialect 8 would speak Hindustani 8 would speak English 7 would speak Spanish 4 would speak Arabic 4 would speak Russian 52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write; 18 would not

1 would have a college education 1 would own a computer

75 people would have some supply of food and a place to shelter them…

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What Has Happened to Builders’ Profit Levels?

Eye on Housing

Every couple of years, NAHB Economics asks single-family builders nationwide to provide data from their income statements and balance sheets so that industry-wide benchmarks on profit margins, asset and equity positions can be determined.  Results from the recently released Cost of Doing Business Study: 2014 Edition show that margins in 2012 improved over 2008 and 2010, but are still lower than in 2006.

Builders reported an average of $13.7 million in revenue for fiscal year 2012, of which $11.3 million (82.6%) was spent on cost of sales (i.e. land costs, direct and indirect construction costs), leaving them with a gross profit margin of 17.4%.  Operating expenses (i.e. finance, sales, marketing, general, and administrative expenses) took another $1.7 million (12.5%), and so in the end, builders posted an average net profit (before taxes) of $666,000, a 4.9% net profit margin.


Builders’ average gross profit margin in 2012 (17.4%) was higher than…

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