this article from last week's Forecaster, which broke the news of a newly-formed group that is organizing to oppose the Portland Public Library's move to a smaller and more expensive building away from Monument Square.
This very loose organization evolved from informal discussions between Jed Rathband, a local political consultant, and me. Basically, we griped about what seemed to be an impulsive decision that affects a very important public space, and we decided to do something about it. Hence, the PEEPs: Portlanders for Economic and Educational Priorities (Jed came up with the name a few minutes before the Forecaster's press deadline).
Now, even though we didn't really have a name, we did have several supportive individuals encouraging us from the get-go. Like us, they don't have a lot of time or resources to dedicate to the cause, but they do agree it's worth more discussion. We the PEEPs exist to vocalize these opposing views, which, we're finding, are more widespread than the conventional wisdom would have it.
But Chris Busby is definitely not down with the PEEPs. After hearing about our group's humble origins from Jed over a beer at the local watering hole for 30-somethings, the erstwhile amiable Busby reportedly went home and wrote an nasty letter to the editor of the Forecaster. He called for the original article's retraction, criticized reporter Kate Bucklin for writing it, and dismissed the PEEPs as the work of only two people: Jed and "a rogue blogger." Who is me.
Mr. Busby's criticism misses the mark, though. We'd heard from others who oppose the library's move before we had the idea for PEEPs, and following the publication last Friday of this op-ed column of the subject (take a moment to admire the solidity of its arguments and the well-formed prose), we've been hearing from more and more people who agree that the Library shouldn't spend a million dollars to move into a smaller space.
Chris Busby has been working hard to establish The Bollard as a legitimate alternative to other local news sources. This is someone who usually champions free speech and alternative media - so why doesn't he use his own forum to discuss the issue, instead of trying to meddle with the editorial decisions of another newspaper? It strikes me as being a little bit petty, and my esteem for The Bollard's been bruised a bit.
Besides, Busby doesn't know me well enough to realize that he's only encouraging me by labeling me a "rogue blogger." He might as well have called me Captain Awesome. So, lock up the women and children and stay tuned to this blog for more about the PEEPs, why the library should stay where it is, and other rascally roguery.