Lars got his start in radio at age 16 spinning records (remember 45s?) and reading news, sports and weather (twice an hour) on KTIL (The Mighty 1590) from a little cinderblock building on the edge of a cow pasture in Tillamook, Oregon (75 miles West of Portland, Oregon).
36 years later, he’s only moved 75 miles east to Portland and light years to “the Right”. Emmy and Peabody award winner Lars Larson brings nearly four decades of experience as a radio and television journalist to the microphone for six hours of the best talk radio in America. Six hours of daily prep keep The Lars Larson Show on top of the news and top-of-mind for listeners across the country.
Along the way, Lars has worked for more than a dozen radio stations and five television stations. Today, Lars holds down the fort from 12pm – 4pm on Radio Northwest flagship FM NEWS 101 KXL. His local talk show airs on seventeen stations in the Pacific Northwest (and earns him the biggest local talk radio audience in the region).
Multnomah County is borrowing a whopping $128 million over the next week to pay its share of the cost of replacing the Sellwood Bridge. The official sales pitch for the deal is here. The bonds will be payable over 20 years (if they don't get refinanced, of course), and they'll be backed by the county's "full faith and credit," which is fancy talk for putting property taxes at risk. Interest costs alone are projected to run about $71.5 million over the life of the deal, and the interest the banks and other bondholders get paid will all be exempt from income taxes. The huge loan to the county gives observers a chance to take a look at the county's current financial picture. It isn't terrible, but neither is it great. The bonds are rated Aa1 by Moody's, which is three rungs below a top rating of Aaa. Given that the creditors can come after property taxes for repayment, that's not exactly a vote of confidence.
As of the end of 2011, the county had an unfunded pension liability of about $292 million, and as of the end of 2010, it had other unfunded retirement liabilities, for retiree health care and the like, of $154.5 million. Since these costs are going up rather than down these days, one can be fairly confident that the current figures for those liabilities are at least $450 million.
As for bonds and other loans, without the bridge replacement debt the county is in the hole for about $217.7 million, which will now jump to $345.7 million. Thus, combined with the retirement burdens, the county's long-term debt stands at about $800 million. The county's population is about 742,000, which means that the long-term debt works out to about $1,100 per person.
Of course, we who live within the City of Portland are staring at a city debt load of more than 10 times that amount, and so this additional mortgaging of the future may seem pretty small by comparison. But the county's debt, including the loan for the bridge, is another log on an already big pile.
And clearly the county's moving in the wrong direction. When we examined its debt picture five years ago, the county's debt per resident was about $545 -- about half of what it now. Doubling down on debt over a mere five years is a bad sign
I thought we would mark today by reading some words from one of the greatest Presidents in our nation's history: Abraham Lincoln. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Californians just voted to preserve the death penalty by a solid majority…despite a multimillion dollar campaign to convince them otherwise. National polls show support for the death penalty over seventy percent. The least supportive demographic group…black Americans…support the death penalty by 55 percent. The same governor who champions doctor assisted suicide calls capital punishment inequitable and immoral.
First, white death row inmates are more likely to be put to death than black. Second…it doesn't matter what citizen Kitzhaber thinks is moral. He took an oath to do a job and part of that job is enforcing a law Oregonians voted to put in place.
Lars' Make Portland Normal bumper sticker can be picked up at Hillsboro Insurance, any George Morlan Plumbing Portland area or Salem locations, or Broadway Cigars locations.