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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Awful Truth: People who complain about traffic ARE the traffic

Capitol Building in Salem, OregonEver notice how postcard pictures never feature the one thing that our city gives more thought and money to than anything else . . .? (Making people defer to cars.) If it's such a good idea, why do we not like it? Image by adam79 via Flickr

Another great summary of the futility of trying to make cities for cars instead of people:

"The traffic you have is a matter of how much asphalt you have," said Gehl, who in his four-decade career has studied and supported the transformation of Copenhagen into one of the most bike-friendly sustainable cities in the world.

The temporary bike racks outside Persephone Theatre were nearly full Monday and Tuesday nights as people from across Western Canada gathered to hear the world-renowned architect deliver two sold-out presentations.

Making car drivers "happy when they are driving and happy when they stop" has been the No. 1 priority in planning cities for years, Gehl said. The "car invasion" will get worse every year until something is done.

"If you invite more driving, you have more driving," he said.

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Why is it called "The Land of the Free" again? (click to expand view)

Bank error NOT in your favor: Oregon banks to shun

McDonalds MONOPOLY Tournament in Vancouver (11)The reality behind the friendly face is that the banks listed are grabbing bailouts with both hands themselves while working to undermine Oregon and Oregonians. Image by Tostie14 via Flickr

Recently, your editor opened a checking account at Umpqua Bank. I had been leaning towards going with an account at Unitus Community Credit Union, but the darn Umpqua Bank pr machine was just too good and the downtown Salem location was perfect for me: near the library and the Post Office, and a chance to support a downtown Salem business, which is pretty high up on my priority list. Unitus is in some horrible bike-hostile location on Market Street near I-5 (hey, Unitus, lots of empty spaces in downtown Salem that would work for you!)

Then I found this story about the Babbits running the Oregon Bankers Association and their determination to make Oregon a rival for Mississippi in every category rather than just in higher education funding. So I called Umpqua and, lo and behold, Umpqua is a member of the OBA, which is why I'm going down there to close my account today and go to Unitus, which I should have done in the first place.

And I found a handy list of OBA members that I thought I would share, a handy guide to banks where you should never open an account, personal or business, or take a loan.

If you have a child, or want to be educated, or you care about an elder who might someday need long term care, or you have a house that needs fire protection, or if you value things like clean water and consumer protection, or if you are just plain smart enough to realize that states without abundant natural resource endowments (oil, etc.) cannot survive on a low-tax/low-services model without resembling the other backwards states using that model, you should carefully consider the many advantages of credit unions over these OBA banks, who are funding the fight to turn Oregon into a state that looks like a third world country, with a thin slice of rich people and a great mass of poor people and a hollowed out middle class. Credit unions provide small business accounts these days too, so you can move all your accounts from any of these OBA banks to a credit union and do yourself and all of us a world of good.

Albina Community Bank Allen Trust Co. Bank of America
Bank of Astoria Bank of Eastern Oregon
Bank of the Cascades Bank of the West Banner Bank
Capital Pacific Bank CenterPointe Community Bank
Century Bank Citizens Bank Clackamas County Bank
Clatsop Community Bank Columbia Community Bank
Columbia River Bank Columbia State Bank
Community Bank Cowlitz Bancorp, dba Bay Bank
Evergreen Federal Bank First Federal Frontier Bank
High Desert Bank Home Federal Bank Home Valley Bank
HomeStreet Bank KeyBank Lewis & Clark Bank
LibertyBank MBank Northwest Bank
Oregon Coast Bank Oregon Pacific Bank
Pacific Continental Bank Pacific West Bank
People's Bank of Commerce Pioneer Trust Bank
PremierWest Bank Riverview Community Bank
Siuslaw Bank South Valley Bank & Trust
Sterling Savings Bank Summit Bank The Bank of Oswego
The Commerce Bank of Oregon U.S. Bank
Umpqua Bank
Union Bank of California Union Bond & Trust Company
United States Trust Company Washington Trust Bank
Wells Fargo West Coast Bank West Coast Trust Co.
Willamette Community Bank Willamette Valley Bank
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