Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's clear to me after family get-togethers that my brothers and sisters don't have the same egalitarian memories of Bend that I have. Maybe I'm just an old hippie, I was 16 years old in 1968, but I remember a Bend that not only didn't suck up to the rich, but frowned on them.

Yes, you can live perfectly well in Bend without granite countertops. In fact, that was part of the deal. You sacrificed the granite countertops in order to move to Bend. You sacrificed the latest fashion. You fell two years behind the world.

The pace slowed down. You breathed in the mountain air in the winters, and kicked up the red dust in the summers. Dogs wandered around, loping out to the sidewalk to scope you out. Hardly anyone built swimming pools because you could only swim two months out of the year (ditto golf courses.)

Maybe if the first bastard to tear down a perfectly nice house on Mirror Pond, and constructing a Jabba the Hutt monstrosity with it's belly hanging out over the river had been laughed out of town, we could have stopped it. Maybe if the first Hummers in town had been pointed at and snickered at, maybe some of these newcomers would have gotten a clue.

We just got overwhelmed. That's all.


Anonymous said...

I've had this argument constantly, when something like Pokemon takes off it's because the the T.V. show, or the marketing concept, or whatever.


Dunc, from everything you have told us about yourself, you were a writer, you bought a comic book store at a young age, which you have managed for 30 years,

Dunc, I have worked for the biggest big corporate company's all my life, I have been around corporate PR&MARKETING.

There are NO accidents, Beanie-Baby, .. Pokemon, they're NOT accidents, sure NOT all campaigns stick, but they're not all accidents either.

The BEND BUBBLE was NO FUCKING accident DUNCAN, it was a planned fraud.

1.) City of Bend treasury used to sell the BEND-BRAND, and its STILL THERE on the city website today, they have NOT yet deleted this shit. The Bend-Brand is a myth that Bend is retirement perpetual youth paradise, where nobody ever ages. The Bend-Brand is a fairy-tale.

2.) Easy Money from DUMBYA.

3.) Exempt, deferred SDC's, $12k, instead of $60k, builders came from everywhere. Every builder got rich in Bend, because here they didn't have to front the SDC like elsewhere, BEND is-was a designed PONZI scheme.

Norma at all her clubs like COVA,COBA,COAR, .. they are the wizard behind the curtain, your saying that BEND being #1 over-valued in the USA is just fucking accident, like POKEMON, NO duncan it wasn't an accident it was an organized planned FRAUD.

The same people WHO blew up the bubble are now trying to deflate bubble with OUR money.

Very little happens in the business world by accident duncan, for you to suggest such, simply tells me that you have NOT spent any years in Corporate Board Rooms, we already know you don't belong to any of these clubs ( COAR, COBA, COVA, EDOC); It's always the same people, and they do run Bend, and they do manage the BUBBLE, and folks at the SORE & BULL also belong to these clubs.

It is NO accident that BEND is the #1 over-valued RE in the entire USA, even now its STILL 70% over-valued today!!! This is NO accident, other city's didn't defer the SDC's, other city's didn't squander tax-payer treasure on PR bunny's and cocaine whores.


Duncan McGeary said...

I disagree that they managed the upside, or will be able to manage the downside. No one manages a bubble.

I've had this argument constantly, when something like Pokemon takes off it's because the the T.V. show, or the marketing concept, or whatever.

Bullshit. Hundreds, thousands of ideas equally valid are thrown at the wall every year and most don't stick.

It's a mystery.

The really funny thing to me, is that obviously THINK they managed the upside. DuBois really THINKS she created all this housing demand.

No, lady, you were just surfing the wave, you AREN'T the wave.

And hoping that foreigners will bail us out? That just sounds pathetic.

I think if they try to 'manage' the downside, they'll be crushed. The best thing to do is to get out of the way, the way I think Brooks Resources is doing.

Catch falling knives, indeed. Standing under the iron safe as if falls through the floors.

Get out of the way, horde your pennies, and buy at the bottom.

And you'll KNOW when it's bottom. There won't be any doubt. And it will stay there for awhile, take your time.

There is some ultra rich guy who tried to manage the stock market crash in 1929. After all, J.P. Morgan had done it, the same guy had done it (or thought he'd done it) a few weeks before.

He got crushed.

Don't be so arrogant to think you can 'manage' a force of economic nature....

Take a big pot of central Oregon, throw in a dash of publicity here, a pinch of marketing there, government subsidies there....and we manage a boom?

EVERY town in a America does this! Every town thinks it's special. Every T.V. show hopes to be a hit. Every cereal that hits the market had marketing. We just happened to have a bubble inflate here through chaos and natural wonder.

But you don't create bubbles...

We really disagree about this, dude. I think MOST of it's accident.

You can 'manage' growth perhaps. But you can't manage a bubble.

It's a difference of degree.

It's like knowing the mind of the public....

I've seen hundreds of gaming concept come down the pike, and they all look good. But you put them in front of the public, and some sell and some don't and some sell with lots of marketing and some don't and some sell without any marketing.

It's only after the fact that people go back and say, such and such took off because....blah, blah, blah.

Why does my THE TRUTH ABOUT CHUCK NORRIS book sell like crazy? You going to tell me that someone knew that was a hit?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

I'm telling you. It's a mystery.

Otherwise every movie would be a hit. Every book. Every T.V. show. Every product.

BUBBLES are another whole order of magnitude than a hit. On a scale of one to 10, a 'hit' is a 10. A bubble is 100 or 1000.

That's what Bend just went through.

Duncan McGeary said...

Bilbo, we seem to reach the same conclusions -- maybe because we can see what's in front of us -- but we arrive from two different directions.

In a way, you're view is a more optimistic one. We have our fate in our hands --even if it is a fucked up fate.

I think it's all one big friggin pokemon sized accident.

Some guy posts a "Chuck Norris eats coal and shits diamonds" meme on the internet and it takes OFF. Who knew? How many millions of memes are posted on the internet every day that go nowhere?

In a broader scheme, money protects money. I believe that. But as I said, every town has marketing, there are Hollerns and DuBois and Bauhofers all over the place, man. Not every graduate of Stanford moves to Bend.

So, yeah, I think these things take on a life of their own. Chaos theory at work.

Our ATTITUDES toward these events, that we can control, and in that Bend has failed big time. No friggin ethics, no perspective, no balance.

We got overwhelmed...

Anonymous said...

There must be a 100 of what I call 'clubs' in this town, be they chamber-of-commerce, coba,cova,coar,bend-nar, most of them are all the same people.

All orchestrated to accomplish the same activity, sell worthless condos to seniors.

The whole condo canyon, along the Deschutes, the Les Schwab Amphitheater, all were designed to sell the 'Bend Brand'.

None of this was an accident. Team Hollern, Hap-Taylor, Bauhofer, Homer-Williams, Bill Smith, all orchestrated 'Smart Growth' years ago, and everything fell into place.

These boyz owned city-hall, and the all the politicians, and the city-staff beckoned to their needs,

It's no 'pokemon' accident that Bend is the #1 over-valued RE in the USA still even today.

Someday I'll write a whole blog/book on this issue, I'm sure were thinking the same, we're both businessmen. We just use different words.

You call it 'dumb luck', I say its orchestrated. Not quite a conspiracy, because there was no secrecy. Nonetheless all of Bends business folk were all involved with the TEAM 'smart growth' effort, brought into town by HOLLERN after 2000 to sell NWXC, after that the whole city went crazy on kool-aid, anything was possible, their were no limits.

Total insanity,

Your observation is they can't manage the downside, of course, the gold is gone, it took 'gold', taxpayer gold ( deferred sdc's ), town-treasury to blow the bubble, the only tool they have now is lies, and a few COVA (taxpayer ) dollars.

Globally 'easy money', but locally 'incentives', someday I'll write up ALL the incentives that were ORCHESTRATED by this bunch that made Bend #1, ALL these incentives will ultimately be paid by US the taxpayers that don't move out of town, after the party.

Anonymous said...

Instead of comparing to the rest of the country, we should be looking at Florida and California if we want to see what's six months to a year down the road.



You ONLY have to study TWO-CHARTS "TOL", and "CACB".

TOL is the bellwether for national, and peaked JULY05, CACB is the BELLWETHER for CENTRAL-OREGON and peaked Jan 07,

18 months LAG, PURE & SIMPLE, why ??

Because OREGON is no-where when the all the other markets had peaked they look for new plays, and then they found OREGON, its always the last to go up, and the last to recover, ALL bubbles here work this way.

How far will we GO DOWN CACB is 100% correct, we'll go -70%, or Homer 2/3, or busters 1/e ( natural number ), ...

Summer of 2008 will be absolute PANIC here, then BEND will be toxic for a few years, and it will take until 2012 to clear the REPO's, then its going to be inflation until 2025, which is something between 4-6%, there's a real good article in todays WSJ about real-inflation. Gov says 4%, but experts say 6%.

For Bend $400k medians at say $160k in 2010, will take until past 2020 to get back to $320k.

Duncan McGeary said...

Interesting that neither one of us is saying it was the 'natural beauty' or some other 'exceptionalism' reason, though I figure that was part of it.

But...since you keep using 'smart growth' as a mantra as if Hollern invented it, it's a national concept. Just as there are Hollern's in every town.

You're saying Hollern and his ilk were the reason we had a bubble.

I say they were only the tools.

Anonymous said...

The last of Bend’s five lumber mills closed in 1994, and as real estate development exploded, there was a backlash against further growth.

Along about this time, West Bend Property Company was formed to develop a tract of timberland that, as it happened, lay within Bend’s urban growth boundary. As some in the community began to push for a moratorium on further development, the company moved to counter “no growth” sentiment for a campaign for “smart growth.”

As Ken Pirie, an urban designer with the firm that planned NorthWest Crossing has written, “West Bend Property Company partners Mike Hollern, Kirk Schueler and Mike Tennant became moderate brokers of a rigorous public conversation and active proponents of good civic design.” The developers sponsored charrettes to get public input on specific projects, such as a new bridge crossing the Deschutes River, and helped bring national leaders of the smart growth movement to town for a series of lectures on “Building a Better Bend.”

Anonymous said...


There was NOTHING 'smart' about what HOLLERN did, as in actuality, even though he used 'smart growth' as a selling point for NWXC, in fact its far from the real McCoy, like Juniper-Ridge Hollerns 'smart growth' was a bait&switch.

What it accomplished was changing the conversation from no-growth or controlled-growth to anything goes, and that is how we got to where we are today.

Once HOLLERN got NWXC approved, every other builder in region wanted to do the same thing, and got approved using the same 'rhetoric'. To this day in Bend there is no legitimate anti-growth spokespeople, as the 'smart-growth' dog&pony show of Hollern shut them all down for good.

The rest is history.

NWXC AIN'T 'smart growth' for a few reasons, one they don't allow single-family homes, thus NWXC ain't smart, and secondly 'smart growth' says no autos, we'll I hate to tell you but nobody @ NWXC walks anywhere, thus the WHOLE 'smart growth' was a charade to destroy the anti-growth debate. NWXC is just another lame-ass USA sub-division. 'SMART GROWTH" was just lipstick that HOLLERN put on the PIG to sell it to city council.

All the insane building in BEND was carefully planned and orchestrated and all the guard rails to prevent insane over-building, were carefully removed prior to the BEND-BUBBLE.