Which Came First? The Comment or the Post?
Last night I wrote a comment on Jack Bog's post regarding the Willamette Week cover story about the South Waterfront district. The tone of the article was vintage Portland: Yes, we've been misled on several fronts but it's all okay because everyone involved is a nice person. Everybody was completely transparent here, with the best of honorable intentions. However in life, surprises do crop up along the way. You can't blame anyone involved for that. There's never any villains in Portland - everyone's too vanilla. We could be living in a horror movie and the local media would still be writing about it like it was the feel-good hit of the year.
Anyway, the comment seemed unusually coherent to me this morning so I decided to copy it and link to the article below:
I think the weakest sentence in the article is about Homer Williams and the size of the buildings: "Then last year, realizing he'd surrendered too much, he persuaded the council to let him increase the footprint." Now, that could be 100% true. This man whose credentials had just been described - the towers in Los Angeles, the nose for opportunity - somehow could have gotten snookered by the Corbett-Terwilliger-Lair Hill Neighborhood Association. Forgive me for being cynical, but it was reminiscent of the tram budget which was later called a guesstimate. That could have been true too, but sometimes developers and others submit numbers to get a project started, then return later with the real, revised numbers. Nigel could have written that Homer "claimed" that he only realized this later. Sure, it was a gigantic project for him, but maybe he only made a guesstimate about it the first time when he "surrendered too much". Maybe he was in a hurry, like one of the council's later excuses. But if Nigel had added the word "claimed" and it was, in fact, a deliberate strategy by a slick developer who knew the city council was on a string, well, then, the sentence would still be accurate. Instead, it reads like the developer's words are not to be questioned, which is way too trusting for a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Willamette Week Online | News | COVER STORY | MAGIC KINGDOM | Wednesday September 20th, 2006