Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rajaratnam guilty

We all knew he did it, right?  Plus, this does not seem like the best time to advance the "it happens all the time on Wall Street" argument.  In listening to wiretaps, it is easy to believe that Rajaratnam did not really believe that he was doing anything wrong.  While it is arguably the biggest insider trading case in history, it is only the tip of the iceberg, and it takes two people to exchange information illegally.  It is not at all apparent that the larger participants in this scheme, like Goldman Sachs, will be held accountable.

School Bond Decision

There are two bond measures up our vote next week in Multco.  One is a construction bond which has been getting the majority of the attention.  Here is a detailed Oregonian article about what that will cost.  Here is the raw data for the construction bond expenditures.  I like that chart, because it breaks the project down by total cost and cost per square foot.  

The other measure is an operating levy, which will fund teacher's salaries.  It has not been getting as much attention.  One group proposes a yes vote on the operating levy, and a no vote on the bond.  The levy is really a separate issue from the bond.  Here is a detailed explanation of the levy.  The purpose of the levy is to save about 450 teaching jobs which would otherwise be cut because the State cut funding.  It comes at a cost of $57 million a year.  

These are two tough decisions given the economic climate.  The levy seems like an easy yes vote, though.  The economic and social impact of cutting teaching jobs right now seems devastating.  The bond measure is harder to justify, given its expense, but it does contain necessary repairs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Portland chefs win more awards

This time Andy Ricker of Pok Pok and Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon took home James Beard awards for excellence in cooking.

PDC promises to expand small business loan program

The Portland Development Commission offers matching small business loans to companies in growth sectors who have secured loans from other banks.  Except it doesn't, having not given a single loan to a single company under this program in the last year and a half.  Now they are saying, they may actually expand the program.

ACS:Law pleads poverty

The embattled British copyright troll is claiming it does not have the money to pay government fines.

Portland herpes suit

Sex tort expert Randy Vogt has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit on behalf of woman alleging that a former sex partner intentionally infected her with herpes.

Negative Equity Abounds

Zillow put together this report on houses with negative equity.  It is a lot of them.