Tag Archives: Portland

Portland will tax public companies where CEO pay is 100 times employee average

Demorats being demorats.


liberal nonsense

From the Seattle Times: Moving to address income inequality on a local level, the City Council in Portland, Oregon, voted Wednesday to impose a surtax on publicly traded companies whose chief executives earn more than 100 times the median pay of their rank-and-file workers.

The surcharge, which Portland officials said is the first in the nation linked to chief executives’ pay, would be added to the city’s business tax for those companies that exceed the pay threshold. Currently, roughly 550 companies that generate significant income on sales in Portland pay the business tax.

Under the new rule, public companies doing business in Portland must pay an additional 10 percent in taxes if their chief executives receive compensation greater than 100 times the median pay of all their employees. Companies with pay ratios greater than 250 times the median will face a 25 percent surcharge.

The tax will take effect next year, after the Securities and Exchange Commission begins to require public companies to calculate and disclose how their chief executives’ compensation compares with their workers’ median pay. The SEC rule was required under the Dodd-Frank legislation enacted in 2010.

Portland’s executive-pay surcharge will be levied as a percentage of what a company owes on the city’s so-called business license tax, which has been in place since the 1970s. City officials estimated that the new tax would generate $2.5 million to $3.5 million a year for the city’s general fund, which pays for basic public services such as housing and police and firefighter salaries.

Criticism of how much chief executives are paid has risen in recent years as their compensation has grown substantially. In 2015, the median compensation for the 200 highest-paid executives at U.S. public companies was $19.3 million, up from $9.6 million five years earlier.

Comparing such compensation with how much lower-level employees earn is likely to show a very wide gulf. A 2014 study by Alyssa Davis and Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning advocacy group in Washington, found that chief executive pay compared with the earnings of average workers had surged from a multiple of 20 in 1965 to almost 300 in 2013.


Thomas Piketty (a French economist), a professor at the Paris School of Economics and an authority on income inequality who wrote “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” said he favored the Portland tax as a first step. “This is certainly part of the solution,” Piketty wrote in an email, “but the tax surcharge needs to be large enough; the threshold ‘100 times’ should be substantially lowered.”

Steve Novick

Steve Novick

Taxing companies that dole out outsize executive pay in Portland was the idea of Steve Novick, a former environmental lawyer who has been a Portland city commissioner since January 2013. “When I first read about the idea of applying a higher tax rate to companies with extreme ratios of CEO pay to typical worker pay, I thought it was a fascinating idea,” Novick, a Democrat, said in a telephone interview. “It was the closest thing I’d seen to a tax on inequality itself.”

Novick, who lost a bid for re-election last month, said he had begun weighing such a tax about a year ago but did not discuss it publicly until September.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Another supporter of the tax is Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland.  “Income inequality is real; it is a national problem, and the federal government isn’t doing anything about it,” Hales, a Democrat, said in a telephone interview. “We have a habit of trying things in Portland; maybe they’re not perfect at the first iteration. But local action replicated around the country can start to make a difference.” Hales, who did not seek re-election, will leave office at the end of the month.

Portland officials said other cities that charge business-income taxes, such as Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia, could easily create their own versions of the surcharge. Several state legislatures have recently considered bills structured to reward companies with narrower pay gaps between chief executives and workers. In 2014, a bill in California proposed reducing taxes for companies whose executives were paid less than 100 times above the median worker. The bill did not pass.

Among those objecting to the new tax was the Portland Business Alliance, a group of 1,850 companies that do business locally. Alliance officials have predicted that the measure would not have the desired result of reducing income inequality.

“We see it as an empty gesture,” Sandra McDonough, the alliance’s president and chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “We think they’d be far better off trying to work with business leaders to create more jobs that will lift people up and improve incomes.” Publicly traded companies, she added, are “an easy group to pick on.”

Hales conceded that the pay ratio is “an imperfect instrument” with which to solve the problems of income inequality. “But it is a start.”

government solve all problems



Oregon judge says all guns in U.S. should be dumped in ocean

From The Oregonian: As the killer stood before him, Judge Kenneth Walker couldn’t stay silent. “If I could I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges and go dump them in the ocean,” the judge told the defendant. “Nobody would have a gun. Not police, not security, not anybody. We should eliminate all of them. We could save 33,000 people a year if we didn’t have guns in this country.”

Marcell Lee Daniel Jr. had unleashed 30 bullets during an afternoon drive-by shooting of an innocent man on a North Portland sidewalk. The man, Andrew Coggins Jr., 24, died.

The judge kept going. “Australia after a major shooting rounded up all the guns, and they haven’t had near the death that we do here in this country,” he said.

The judge was referring to tighter gun controls in Australia in response to a 1996 mass shooting by a lone gunman who killed 35. Australia responded by buying back or seizing a million existing firearms and making it more difficult to buy new ones. News reports marking the 20th anniversary of gun reforms state there have been no mass shootings — defined as 5 or more people — since.

“I just saw last night a statistic that 11,000 people in America are murdered each year and another 20,000 commit suicide with guns,” Walker said, referring to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“They are a scourge of this country and no one should have one as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “There’s no defense to guns. There’s just absolutely no reason to have them. But it is a right of people in this country to own and possess them, and I will not say anything to affect that right.”

Walker, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge for nearly 10 years and a criminal defense attorney before that for 25 years, sentenced Daniel to 17 1/2 years in prison.

molon labe

Read the whole story here.

h/t Weasel Zippers


‘Violence is all over’ in Portland; police blame gangs

Paging the #BlackLivesMatter crowd.

Portland, Oregon gang members 2011Source: The Oregonian

Seattle Times: Twenty-one bullets riddled a North Portland house, just after midnight nearly two weeks ago. Police found 35 shell casings at the scene. On Oct. 2, a 21-year-old out of custody on weapons charges fatally shot two men outside a Montavilla neighborhood pub.

Last Sunday, bullets whizzed through five rooms at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Inn, wounding two women and disrupting a birthday party on a hotel-room balcony. Police recovered 32 shell casings there.

Thirteen shootings tied to gangs in the past two weeks in North, Northeast, Southeast and downtown Portland have left three people dead, and pushed the city’s gang-violence calls to 146 so far this year. It’s the highest count since Portland police began recording the calls in 1998 and far above last year’s total of 109.

“The violence is all over,” said Sgt. Don Livingston, a supervisor of the Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it.” With six detectives and 25 officers, the team is focusing on investigating shootings that cause injuries and the ones where detectives can gather the most leads for an arrest, said Lt. Mike Krantz, supervisor of the bureau’s tactical operations division.

Portland gang investigators said members of the Rolling 60s Crips, Kerby Blocc Crips, Woodlawn Bloods, Unthanks and Hoover gangs have been involved in the violence.

They’re not necessarily tit-for-tat retaliatory shootings, but instead more likely to be over perceived slights, drug ripoffs or disputes over a woman, Krantz said. “We can’t point to one thing,” he said. That makes it harder for police, gang-outreach workers and probation officers to try to stem the tide. “It’s like a lightning strike — once one hits, I have no idea when the next lightning’s going to be back,” said North Precinct’s Capt. Matt Wagenknecht. “It’s so random.”

Remarkably, no one was injured Sept. 26 in the home in the 9100 block of North Endicott Street when the 21 bullets hit. They were all asleep in the back of the residence. White police markings remain on the outside of the house, identifying each of the bullet holes. The back window of a car parked in the driveway next door was shattered.

“I heard the shots. It was a lot — pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. It scared me,” said neighbor Phil Bonneau. “It is concerning to me that someone would do such a thing in my neighborhood.”

Law enforcement, probation and parole officers and juvenile counselors have met to share information and ask, “Is there something we’re not doing right and can we do it better?” said Antoinette Edwards, director of the city’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention.

Portland police were clear that they’re disturbed that a man was released from jail while facing weapons charges. “Being that we deal with the most violent crimes, in my opinion, if you have a gun charge, you shouldn’t be eligible for release,” Krantz said.

Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden said police are being encouraged to stamp “GUN” on all custody sheets for people arrested on weapons charges. That’s an extra step to alert county jail officials that the accused should not be released from custody. Police already routinely do that on domestic-violence cases to keep people in jail.

Snowden also sent emails to all gang-enforcement prosecutors and some neighborhood-based deputy district attorneys, asking them to alert her and Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield if they are about to dismiss a weapons charge in a gang-related case.

“Even if we have to reject a charge because we need additional reports or evidence tested, we can still call over to probation and possibly detain a person for violating their probation conditions by associating with other known gang members,” Snowden said.

Oregon gangs

Source of above photo: Oregon Gangs

Police and probation officers said they’re also finding local men involved in shootings featured in music videos that glamorize the gang life. They can be detained for violating probation, if they’ve already been prohibited from associating with other gang members as part of their probation conditions, probation officers said.

Lucy Mashia, who lost her 34-year-old son, Leonard James “L.J.” Irving Jr., in a Portland shooting in June 2011, expressed frustration that the day-to-day, gang violence doesn’t receive the same type of attention as, for example, the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, where a gunman killed nine people and wounded nine others before taking his own life.

“I didn’t see 100 people doing vigils for my baby,” Mashia said. “This is a community problem. All lives matter.”


Judge orders temporary release of illegal who sought sanctuary in church


KATU: A federal judge has ordered the temporary release of an immigrant activist illegal alien who took refuge at an Oregon church to avoid deportation and was arrested this week on a federal charge of illegal re-entry.

stewartJudge Janice Stewart on Friday ordered Francisco Aguirre to be released while he’s awaiting the start of his trial on Jan. 13. Aguirre pleaded not guilty to his charge in court.

Records show the 35-year-old was indicted by a grand jury in September on the illegal re-entry charge. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed ICE has lifted its detainer on Aguirre, meaning his removal from the U.S. is on hold pending the outcome of his criminal case.


Aguirre, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador nearly two decades ago, was arrested Thursday at a county court. He was there to settle a case of driving under the influence.

The arrest stems from a past criminal case: Aguirre was deported in 2000 after a drug conviction; he then unlawfully re-entered the country.

Aguirre came to the attention of authorities in August after a DUI arrest. He took refuge at Portland’s Augustana Lutheran Church in September, after authorities tried to detain him at home. The agents did not have a warrant, so they could not enter his home.

Aguirre is among those who have taken sanctuary in U.S. churches in recent years because authorities generally don’t make arrests in places of worship.


The father of two children who are U.S. citizens is now the coordinator of a Portland nonprofit that runs a day labor center. His supporters, who include Portland’s mayor, say Aguirre has positively contributed to his community during the past decade and should be allowed to remain in the U.S. with his family.

A crowd of supporters, including the pastor of the church where Aguirre took sanctuary, packed Portland’s federal magistrate’s court to capacity on Friday. Aguirre’s wife, Dora Reyna, wiped away tears in the front row when Aguirre walked in wearing blue jail scrubs.

His attorney, Ellen Pitcher, told the judge that Aguirre did not plan to run. She said he had been “kidnapped, tortured, and otherwise abused as a child” in his country of birth, and had “no intention of taking flight to El Salvador.”

Aguirre’s release conditions include a ban on travel outside Oregon, a ban on changing his place of residence, and surrender of all travel documents. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Nyhus, who is prosecuting the case in Oregon, declined to comment.

Nearly all of those sentenced for unlawful re-entry in federal courts received a prison sentence, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. On average, the sentence length for these offenders was about two years.

It’s unclear whether Aguirre will return to the church or will live at home once he is released and awaiting trial.

Aguirre’s immigration lawyer, Stephen Manning, had said Aguirre was in the process of obtaining a U-visa, a special document for violent-crime victims who help authorities investigate or prosecute cases.


Building Blueprint Illusion.. Kule!

OK , How’s this one?  Mind you none of the descriptions are mine.  ~Steve~


Blueprint Mural in Portland
By Vurdlak on March 19, 2013,

blueprint image1


Browsing Moillusions history articles for a while made me realise we haven’t had that many #murals lately. Not being lazy, I started crawling my repository for something cool that could fill the gap, when this magnificent building appeared right in front of me – the photo depicts a mural of a blueprint, painted on a side of a building that used to be a furnishing store. I really liked it. If you look closely, you’ll notice how the second window from the right (2nd floor) is partially obstructed to maintain the illusion. Not sure if this still exists, but I bet our viewers from Portland can share some insight about the building today. It stands somewhere at the corner of Free and Center Streets, if I did my research right.



No Halloween costumes due to…

PC madness ruins it for kids

PC madness – “equity”.

Portland school bans Halloween costumes over inequality

From King5: Many schools elect not to celebrate Halloween each year for various reasons, but some parents at a Portland school want their holiday traditions back.

The principal at Buckman Arts Elementary released a letter stating “the celebration of Halloween at school can lead to student exclusion.” Not wanting any students to feel left out over costumes, he said most Portland Public Schools would downplay Halloween because of “social, financial and cultural differences among our families that we must respect.”  The letter went on to say the decision was made in “the spirit of equity.”

Buckman parent Shannon Brazil opposed the policy on her blog Wednesday. The complaint ignited a controversy and led parents to start a petition to bring Halloween back.  “We live in America,” parent Rebekah Clark said. “We have the right and freedom to celebrate whatever we want.”

“It’s safe to say that the school is not hosting any Halloween parties and that the principal has asked students not to wear costumes,” said Matt Shelby with Portland Public Schools. “That said, they are hosting a harvest celebration.”

Buckman Principal Brian Anderson said the same policy was in place last year and he did not receive any complaints.  “I’m absolutely torn,” said parent Matt Callanan. “I’m a traditionalist at heart; I love the idea of my kids wearing a Halloween costume to school. But I really trust my principal’s judgment.”

Shelby said the principal has asked students not to wear costumes, but there is no district directive that bans costumes. He referred parents to the dress code always in place for Portland schools.  A child who shows up for school in costume runs the risk of being sent home.

How much does it take to put a Halloween costume together?  A white sheet with eye cutouts and you’re a ghost.  And kids are very creative – give them some old clothes, toys, etc. and they can come up with plenty of ideas.

This notion of “equity” is something all good socialists love.  Truth be told, we aren’t all equal in our capabilities and talents.  And teaching our children this notion only deters them from trying to be the best they can be, fearing they are better or have more than anyone else.  Not exactly an idea to instill in them if we want them to have a successful life.


America’s 10 Most Promiscuous Cities

Phioto credit: Peter Keusgen

According to data from the free dating site OKCupid, which The Boston Globe calls “the Google of online dating,” Portland, Oregon, has the distinction of being America’s sluttiest city.

Amy Rolph writes for the seattlepi, August 19, 2011, that OKCupid arrived at this determination by mapping where site users seeking “causal sex” are located. Those numbers were converted to percentages to determine which cities are the most promiscuous.

Here are the top 10 sluttiest cities in America:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Miami, Florida
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Dallas, Texas
  7. San Bernardino, Calif.
  8. Denver, Colorado
  9. San Diego, Calif.
  10. Houston, Texas