Made in Oregon Sign Debate Continues

Over at Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard's new blog, he takes aim at the University of Oregon's attempt to change the Made in Oregon sign.

The sign is seen all over the world when major events like the NCAA basketball tournament and the Davis Cup come to Portland, as well as in movies, reality TV shows, and coffee table books. It is an icon that is readily associated with Portland, and a visual cue that is as uniquely Portland as anything in our cityscape. Changing the sign from a neutral City of Portland-oriented institution to a Eugene, Oregon based school that is well recognized in its own right seriously degrades the value of the icon to an entire community and commandeers it for the narrow purpose of institutional self-indulgence.
Leonard also takes on outgoing President Dave Frohnmayer:
I met with University of Oregon President David Frohnmayer last October 9th to relay the concerns many Portlanders and I have with his plans for the sign. To be polite, he did not respond in a productive way. I felt as though I was explaining to a house guest why having the TV on late at night was disturbing our family and he reminded me, in an offended tone, that I should consider myself lucky he was visiting me at all given his vast success and wealth.

Read the rest and discuss.

Comments

  • john (unverified)
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    Five uses of the most overused word in Portland's political lexicon: "Icon."

    Not sure how much I really care about this, but snubbing a new tenant who is anchoring a major new development in an area of town that has been struggling for decades doesn't seem particularly wise.

    Is U of O "now and forever associated with Eugene"? Forever is a long time. The current sign is an icon ... a U of O sign would be "garish."

    "I will do what I can to pass on to future Portlanders the heritage that my generation was so fortunate to inherit." Gack. Didn't realize Leonad was such a historic preservationist.

    But this is all about getting elected Mayor, right?

  • Pappy (unverified)
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    Frohnmayer is an easy target, most University Presidents are. When I was a kid, the sign said, "White Stag". Everyone was upset when it became "Made in Oregon". I personally am happy to see it go to a university. It beats the city of Portland having to feel like they should pay for it to keep it going as a historic landmark. The reality is it is an expense, and it's great advertising. Oh and so were clear, I went to PSU and UofO. I grew up in Portland and now I live in Eugene, so my loyalty is equally spread around.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "Randy Leonard's new blog"

    Ahem - I believe a blog usually allows comments to be posted. Then again, that probably would be someone who disagrees with Randy like Frohnmayer. Randy doesn't like that.

  • Brian C. (unverified)
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    So...UofO should pay for the sign but said sign should display whatever Portland city council members see fit? That about right? Well, here's my solution. Cesar Chavez emblazoned in neon. Everybody's happy.

  • Iconoclast (unverified)
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    Five uses of the most overused word in Portland's political lexicon: "Icon."

    The sixth use being snuck into the word "lexicon."

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    I always have to laugh when I hear or see (and now read!) how Randy Leonard more often than not presents himself the innocent unjustly aggrieved party whenever someone has the gall and temerity to not see something exactly the way Randy sees it. No one is more reasonable 100% of the time than Randy Leonard - at least according to Randy Leonard anyway.

    If he's wasn't a spoiled only child - he's sure grown into quite the reasonable facsimile of one as an adult.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Sounds like Frohnmayer didn't get down on all fours and properly kiss King Randy's arse. Truth be told, that's what has got the Fireman all po'd.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Sounds like Frohnmayer didn't get down on all fours and properly kiss King Randy's arse. Truth be told, that's what has got the Fireman all po'd.

  • john (unverified)
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    Pucker up!

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "an icon that is readily associated with Portland"

    You're right, I laugh at what is a matter of civic pride in this town: - Advertising signs - Rebuilding an 80-year old stadium 2x in the past 10 years.

    However, these things aren't considered "a visual cue that is as uniquely Portland as anything in our cityscape" - Potholes throughout town - Collapsing infrastructure - Dumping sewage in the Willamette until we get sued by the Feds and environmentalists - A collapsing Sellwood bridge - Building 250 ft tall condos on the riverbank in SoWa

    This is a smokescreen to distract voters from other issues like water rates jumping 16%.

  • S. Q. Ire. (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Mar 23, 2009 10:48:58 PM

    Sounds like Frohnmayer didn't get down on all fours and properly kiss King Randy's arse. Truth be told, that's what has got the Fireman all po'd.

    Oh, pander to every power interest. He couldn't possibly be another unresponsive, unrealistic, pompous, self-justified, overpaid, what-was-service-is-my-hot-career, example of why Americans are stupid gits, could he?

    Have you EVER met an entrenched power interest that you didn't think was probably the party in the right? You want to admit that anyone with any authority is a shithead? Fine. If you want to look at it by degrees, Randy Leondard has more integrity that anyone in Portland City gov, or at the U of O regents.

    Why don't you spend your time more productively and go calculate how much extra you are paying for your childrens' education so thtat Frohnmayer can have an upwardly mobile lifestyle. If Randy were reaming your brother-in-law for the way he treated your sister, you'd probably say that your sister deserved it and the problem was that your brother-in-law didn't kiss policeman's ass.

    Randy's Blog. Thanks for the reminder. This blog has become a pseudo-progressive ghetto.

    BO is not a blog. It is a message board. The terms have become ambiguated. A blog is a web log, where you put your thoughts, a less updated version of twitter. People that had message boards since 1983, rebaptized them, even though the two connote different things. Some started them in 2004 and called it a blog because if you start something in 2004 you don't call it a message board. This is America. The words you use are FAR more important than what they denote. True blogs also have a dedicated staff and their position represents the editorial position of the blog. Blogs edit for response content, where allowed. BO doesn't. Only the review of submitted content is un-messageboard-like. The content contributed speaks to the contributers, not the board. That's the difference between a board and a blog.

    A web log is supposed to be what a random X is thinking on day Y about Z. As such, if this were a blog, it is supposed to be the current thoughts of Oregon progressives, about the day's issues. In fact, it's the semi-scheduled thoughts of persons selected to have those thoughts, because they support the Democratic Party's position, but sound like they could be progressive. Reaction is limited to loyal Dems and right wing trolls that either fancy the word "progressive" or just came here to have a food fight.

    Reread the posted comments. Tell me that characterization is off one iota. Basically, I think Lars' Losers have run you off the road.

  • voiceinthewind (unverified)
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    There is some odd envy and competitiveness here. Eugene is the home of U of O. Is the idea to mark new territory, and denigrate Portland State, OHSU, or OGI in Portland? For example, PSU has an intense and rich focus on urban architecture and landscape--Portland's in particular. Isn't Eugene good enough? Maybe build a running track in Portland and name it U of O? Or is this simply a matter of advertising in the state's biggest market and bolsteringthe pride of Portland based ducks? U of O, like PSU and OSU are part of the State System of Higher Education and owns it. Hey, how about a sign with The 'State System of Higher Ed!'? Hummm, on second thought, that doesn't look like icon making either.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    S. Q. Ire... gee whiz, I didn't realize there were now such formal 'Roberts Rules of Order'-like requirements on what does and does not constitute a blog. Are these rules posted anywhere? Blog.gov? EmilyPostBlog.org? I'm sorry Blue Oregon doesn't meet your strict standards. But...

    S.Q. Ire says: Randy's Blog. Thanks for the reminder. This blog has become a pseudo-progressive ghetto.

    BO is not a blog. It is a message board.

    I never really thought Blue Oregon was a blog per se. And Kari even says BlueOregon is a place for progressive Oregonians to gather 'round the water cooler and share news, commentary, and gossip - at best he calls it a 'group blog' Which is probably closer to a message board like you say - in a physical blog form.

    If Blue Oregon offends your evident compulsive need to see uniform blog purity throughout the web, perhaps it's best you pass BlueOregon.com by.

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    I don't have a problem with the sign referring to a statewide institution especially if it is one that has helped shape our community (any more than I would mind if it advertised Columbia Sportswear, for example, or SOLV, both of which are headquartered outside of Portland).

    Rather than debating a sign, however, I hope that we pull together with our higher education leaders and help them leverage PSU, OHSU, PCC and other institutions into a world class educational system that could truly drive economic development and job creation in Portland. Think UW and what it has done for Seattle...

  • sohbet (unverified)
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    nice

  • Shirley (unverified)
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    Why couldn't you just add University of oregon below the made in Oregon slogan? This way we would have the Historical sign plus the school name too. It seems that we have more important things to worry about in this state then a sign, but every time I turn around we lose part of our history in Portland.

  • S.Q. Ire (unverified)
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    alcatross, is Lars paying you to destroy this board, or are you just doing it out of the goodness of your heart?

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    I will avoid the defamations of character and insinuations of conspiracy, but I still think Randy's way too upset here. First of all, it's A BILLBOARD, always has been. Secondly, "Made in Oregon" is no more about Portland than U of O. I think the idea that it's somehow insulting to PSU or Portlanders is made up and stupid, intelligence-insulting nonsense.

    And on a practical level, if UO isn't given their due on the content of the billboard they're leasing, the likely outcome is a completely DARK sign, since why should they pay to keep it lit otherwise?the value of the sign is its design, not what it says.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    S.Q. Ire says: alcatross, is Lars paying you to destroy this board, or are you just doing it out of the goodness of your heart?

    Oh, clever - and so original... never heard the linkage to Lars here before [sic]

    Look, if you'd have restricted your comments to Frohnmayer vs Leonard, I wouldn't have said a word. My issues with Randy are most often regarding what I find to be his supercilious manner more than his politics - but I accept he may have supporters, fine...

    However, some people do have a thing about being lectured to. So when you choose to go off on a tangent about BO (and the people who post here) not meeting your personal arbitrary definitional standard for progressive blogdom, be prepared that someone may question why you subject yourself to this apparent agony then.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Someone needs to check the ID of SQ Ire. Me thinks the Fireman is pseudo blogging

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Look like Randy doesn't like needless stuff shoved down his throat like that.

    Just because U of O officials believe it is 'a good idea' does not entitle them to shove it down ours and Randy's throats and tell everyone 'it's for your own good'.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    To make the sign a better fit for everybody; why not change the sign to just Read "Oregon"? After all the duck logo has been replaced by just a big "O" and the university is often called jusr "Oregon".

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    I thought the tram was supposed to be the icon for which our skyline was known.

  • J Loewen (unverified)
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    Well Leonard has this down stater sure that he has no interest in being Governor of OREGON. Seems like he needs to stay in PDX and support localism

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Mar 24, 2009 12:57:53 PM

    Someone needs to check the ID of SQ Ire. Me thinks the Fireman is pseudo blogging

    That is tooo funny.

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