There’s a sweaty smell of desperation south of the border — an unquenchable thirst to push north into a land of opportunity and dreams come true.
Of course we mean the state border a couple hours south of here.
After being stiffed by Washington lawmakers earlier this year, Oregon is trying to salvage a “go-it-alone” plan to rebuild the rickety bridge between Portland and Vancouver. The Oregoners also would implement tolls and extend their light-rail system across the state line.
Allegedly, this would help them protect many millions in tax revenue they collect from folks who live in The Couv but work in Portlandia.
But we know the real reason: To ensure smooth passage of cheap, Washington free-market pot into the People’s Republic of Oregon.
The estimated “scaled-back” cost of the Columbia River crossing is (gulp) $2.7 billion. Oregon leaders must make key decisions this month, such as whether to call a special legislative session to erase a requirement that Washington provide matching funds.
No word on whether the northbound side of the project would include a new freeway sign: “Welcome to Washington: Thanks for the new bridge, suckers!”
Just call ’em Oregon donors.
As we all know, our state pols are experienced at sticking it to geographic orphans who want to hang out with the cool kids on the other side of a bridge.
Isn’t that right, Gig Harbor?
Border ambivalence: So now we have Round Two of Washington passing the bridge-building buck(s), and Oregon might go along with it. To borrow a phrase from that state’s most important citizen: “Just do it!”
Or don’t. Whatever.
Shucks, they can always close the border if the old bridge gets too dangerous. Doesn’t much matter to us.
Oregon already gave us its best stuff: Fred Meyer stores, “Louie, Louie” and doctor-assisted suicide.
As long as the McMenamin brothers can cross into Washington and finally open their Tacoma Elks Lodge brewpub, we’ll be happy as a pig in slop.
Memo to Washington pooh-bahs: If Oregon is so hellbent on building a better bridge on our blessed shores, maybe you can exact some concessions as part of treaty negotiations.
• Every Washington resident receives a dozen Bacon Maple Bars from Voodoo Doughnut on his or her birthday.
• Oregon beaches are so pretty. We want to drive our cars on them.
• Portland can have the Mariners. In exchange, we demand the Hillsboro Hops.
• Guarantee of bilateral gas-pumping privileges: We get to pump our own gas in Oregon; they can sit on their lazy butts and have a professional pump it for them here.
• All Oregon same-sex couples are welcome to get married here — as long as they are engineers, science or math teachers, or can make the Mariners starting rotation next year.
• Oregon’s governor must sign a sworn affidavit saying the Lewis & Clark expedition liked us best.
• Ducks must let Cougars win one out of every 5 football games. One out of 10 versus the Huskies.
Eighty percent of life is showing up: The Tacoma City Council this week adopted a proclamation in honor of Attendance Awareness Month. Local educators spoke about the community’s role in making sure students show up every day.
Councilmen David Boe and Ryan Mello were absent.
Smoke gets in your thighs: Pity the Tacoma man who got stuck inside his chimney this week, like Santa after too many cookies on the mantel. But it could provide a new tactic for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
“This will never happen if you buy an EPA-certified wood stove!”
Reduce, re-chew, recycle: Last week’s groundbreaking of the Western wing at Tacoma Art Museum was a splendid whoop-de-do, though a few VIPs did disappoint. Gov. Jay Inslee didn’t wear a bolo tie, nor Mayor Marilyn Strickland a fringe cowgirl skirt.
But guests appreciated the giveaway country-style Mason jars full of candy.
The cellophane-wrapped hard candies inside looked familiar. Could they be remnants from Felix Gonzales-Torres’ artwork in last year’s “Hide/Seek” exhibit? The one where people could grab candy from the floor and the museum would replenish?
All a TAM spokeswoman could say for sure is that the multicolored candy pieces at the groundbreaking were found in-house; they weren’t purchased for the ceremony.
Sounds like a worthy pop-art recycling project to us.
Then again, we like to re-chew wads from the gum wall at Pike Place Market.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune