Hoary frost

by Steve, January 31st, 2013

We just got through a cold snap, with some amazing hoar frost, especially at the higher eleveations. This is at Cooper Mountain Nature Park, at about 800 feet.

Hey Portland Public Schools!

by Steve, January 27th, 2013

schoolsHey PPS: You don’t “balance enrollment” by closing more schools in poor neighborhoods.

How about you start by sending kids to school in their neighborhood? Fucking duh.

It’s the transfer policy, stupid.

I started telling you this five years ago. Did you listen? Board member Ruth Adkins pretended to. In August 2007 she said the board was taking a comprehensive look at the adverse affects of the transfer policy. “Stay tuned!” she said.

Five years later, from outside the district, I’m still tuned in enough to see they haven’t deviated one iota from the Vicki Philips/Bill Gates/Eli Broad model of shafting poor and working class neighborhoods for the benefit of the “better” parts of town. Adkins has had the opportunity to lead, but has shown no inclination.

We know Pam Knowles, Bobbi Regan and Trudy Sargent will never willingly give back a red cent of the funding they’ve stolen from poor kids, but why hasn’t Adkins joined forces with Martin Gonzalez, Matt Morton and Greg Belisle to challenge this elitist, classist status quo? Adkins was one of the most vocal members of the Neighborhood Schools Alliance, the group that rose up in response to exactly this kind of school-closure-in-poor-neighborhoods bullshit. If ever there were a moment for her to show what she’s made of, that moment in now.

But instead it looks like Animal Farm, Portlandia Edition.

Never have I been so glad to have moved my family out of that racist motherfucking city and school district. But there are a whole lot of poor kids who don’t have that option. When I shut down PPS Equity I said “Itís time for…direct action. Itís time to get off the blogs and take to the streets.” That was 2010. Looks like it’s high time to get up in the school board’s face on this shit.

Peaking above the fog

by Steve, January 14th, 2013

Peaking above the fog

Winter light on Mt. Hood

by Steve, January 6th, 2013

Mt. Hood 2013
Mt. Hood from Sexton Mountain (Beaverton), Jan. 3, 2013

Cloud Cap
Mt. Hood from our house, Jan. 3, 2013

Mt. Hood Framed
Mt. Hood from Sexton Mountain, Jan. 3, 2013

We often think of Pacific Northwest winters as bland, gray and dreary, but in truth, we get some fantastic winter light around here. Not to mention some nice landscapes to have lighted.

Our weather patterns are typically dominated by (relatively) warm, wet Pacific systems, but we also frequently get cold, dry Arctic air masses pushing down through Canada and Washington along the Columbia basin, and then funneled through the Columbia Gorge into the Willamette and Tualatin Valleys. These are cold, dry, windy times.

When the next Pacific system pushes in and slides over the top, we get amazingly variable light, and sometimes legit winter weather (i.e. snow!). (Even without the Arctic systems, the Pacific systems produce snow in the Cascade Mountains, but the snow level can be pretty erratic throughout the winter, with rain as high as the mountain passes and ski areas at times.)

The bottom picture was taken on New Year’s Day, a cold, clear, dry day. Two days later, a Pacific System was muscling in, and I took the top two pics.