Thursday, October 11, 2007

What we did in Long Beach

Since this morning was devoted to the roll-out of the new blog, I didn’t talk about what we did in Long Beach. It was kind of interesting in a blast-from-the-past sort of way.

Kevin and a couple of his friends had an appointment to brew a batch of beer, and he invited us to join him. We went to a place in Huntington Beach (our friend Arlene’s old hometown) called Brewbakers. They help you brew the beer, and then you come back a few weeks later to bottle it. It isn’t a homebrew supply store. They don’t even sell supplies to take away. Instead you pay to brew there, and you can also drink there. The beer we tasted was, for the most part, pretty good, but one variety had some kind of infection going and was off. It was sort of like old times in Arizona: kind of fun but kind of boring too.

Then the subject of Oregon’s state-wide land use planning came up. One of Kevin’s friends is a lobbyist for the Oregon State Home Builders Association. I was always kind of proud of Oregon’s laws, even when they made our lives of real estate developers more difficult. I think all of the planning that was done back then really contributed to the quality of life in Oregon now. This especially hits home with me when I see the kind of urban sprawl and strip-mall development that is so prevalent here in southern California. So Chip (Kevin’s friend) and I really got into it. I usually try not to get into arguments with friends of friends, and I passed on the ASU vs. UA thing with Chip, but I spent a number of years on this question back in the day, and I couldn’t let it go.

No doubt the old urban growth boundary is pinching these days. It was only supposed to be good for 20 years before it was revised. I don’t know if the new planning hasn’t been done or what, but I sure don’t think that Oregon should do away with the whole thing. Of course, the home builders have to ask for more than they really need so that there can be compromise later with the no-growth people, and I’m certainly not one of those. But I do think that planning is good.

John is sick today. He thinks it’s his system rebelling against all the brewer’s yeast he consumed last night. I hope that’s all it is. We were going to stay put here until Monday anyway, so he’ll be able to get some rest.

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