The Nuts and Bolts of Broadband

“Broadband” generally refers to any Internet connection faster than dial-up. The FCC currently defines it as download speeds of 25 Mbps or more and upload speeds of 3 Mbps or more.

DSL and cable options run over copper telephone wires and television cables respectively. They can achieve 25 Mbps, but cannot compare with fiber optic cable, which has tens or hundreds of times the capacity. Fiber optic cable is comparatively expensive to install and expensive to repair; the actual costs vary greatly depending on what infrastructure is already in place and whether the installation is overhead or underground.

There are two steps in fiber-to-the-premises installation: first, laying the distribution network, and then, going back and connecting specific houses or businesses that have signed up for service. To build an underground fiber optic network, it is necessary to lay hollow pipes (conduit) that the fiber optic cables will run through. In South Hillsboro, construction workers are digging trenches for this and other underground installations. In alreadypopulated Sandy, the method of choice was to use an underground boring machine that drills a chain of rods through the ground; the conduit is hooked onto it and pulled back through the hole, allowing workers to cross streets and driveways without cutting trenches. Another option, one that will be used where possible in Hillsboro, is to use existing overhead utility lines.

One of the cost considerations for a municipality creating an ISP is relatively new: a dearth of available IP addresses. Until 2015, it was still possible for an ISP to request as many IP addresses as it needed and receive them for free. But the organizations that assign IP addresses have now run out of new numbers to assign. A new provider now has to buy IP addresses from another organization with extras.

Connoisseur of Hate

Professor Randy Blazak of the Portland State University Sociology Department is an expert on hate groups nationally and in the Pacific Northwest and especially youth in hate groups and hate groups in prison. He is the author of a soon-to-be released book entitled Hate Offenders. Metroscape® asked him to expand on some of the issues raised in Dr. Serbulo’s article. Dr. Blazak’s responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

This article focuses on hate groups of the right. Are there groups of the left?

The FBI in defining terrorist groups lumps together groups like those associated with Timothy McVeigh [the Oklahoma City Bomber of 1995] and the Earth Liberation Front. The left wing groups tend to hate institutions like governments and corporations, while the right hates individuals who aren’t like them. There is some overlap between these groups, for instance on the war in Iraq, but the right believes it it’s a war to defend Israel and a global cabal of Jews. Right wing hate groups sometimes support Palestinian terror groups because they are united by anti-Semitism. And both are compelled by their sense of moral duty.

Has the worldwide web empowered these people?

Sure. Now there is a constant Klan rally on the web, whereas people used to be reticent about physically attending a rally. There is support for the formation of a Northwest Aryan Homeland that is discussed online. There is a constitution for it, a flag, a name… it’s sometimes called Cascadia.

What is the future of hate in the region?

When the economy is down, hate group activity goes up. Some people begin looking for people to blame for their losses in the American Dream. Hate group activity is largely driven by white working class males. They are looking for scapegoats [such as]… immigrants, a black president. When George Bush makes mistakes, it’s because he’s stupid, not because he’s white. When Obama does something these people don’t like, it [will] be because he’s black.

If the economy improves it’ll be harder for these groups to get an audience. Then the possibility of violence goes up; they feel the mainstream doesn’t get it—Timothy McVeigh is a good example of how that works.

A big trend is toward what is known as “leaderless resistance.” The web allows larger, amorphous groups with no structure to flourish. They’re harder to defeat because you can’t target the leadership. McVeigh and Terry Nichols were a group of two. The American National Socialist Workers Party is a local group made up of one person. Another trend is the growth of prison gangs. The European Kindred is one in the Oregon prison system. Oregon already has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the country. With the passage of Measure 57, the numbers in hate groups will grow and they’ll return to society with these racist views.

Sidebar: Who’s Who

The Public Partners

Oregon City

  • Led land-use master plan and rezoning of the site
  • Approved $100,000 investment annually for 10 years
  • Identified one-time capital investment for Riverwalk improvements

Clackamas County

  • Contributed $100,000 to land-use master plan and federal lobbying efforts


  • Led site due-diligence efforts
  • Contributed more than $450,000 to fund environmental assessments, survey, appraisal, title research, structural investigations, and historical analyses
  • Contributed $400,000 to land-use master plan

State of Oregon

  • Contributed $5 million in state lottery funds for Riverwalk development, contingent upon the availability of funds from other sources to complete its design and construction
  • Provided a $65,000 brownfield grant for an environmental assessment
  • Provided photo documentation and consultation on historic elements
  • Designated project as a “Regional Priority” to receive support from state agencies

Property Owners

Falls Legacy, LLC: George Heidgerken, principal

  • Purchased 22-acre site from bankruptcy trustee in May 2014
  • Dedicated a 120-foot-wide waterfront easement for the Riverwalk in December 2014
  • Committed to pay 20 percent of the design and preliminary engineering expenses for Riverwalk—approximately $900,000
  • Committed to pay at least 20 percent of the future maintenance and operation expenses of the Riverwalk in perpetuity

Portland General Electric

  • Owns one of the nation’s oldest currently operating hydroelectric facilities at the site
  • In December 2014, dedicated an easement that provides a public right-of-way across the dam, offering an electrifying view of the falls

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Owns Willamette Falls Locks, constructed in 1872 by a private company
  • Closed locks in 2011 due to safety concerns
  • Consulting with community on the future of the locks, per the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act

Sidebar: What Milwaukie Was, What Milwaukie Is


Milwaukie was founded in 1847 by entrepreneur Lot Whitcomb. Originally from Vermont, Whitcomb fell in love with Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which sits on the shore of Lake Michigan at the convergence of three rivers: the Milwaukee, the Menomonee, and the Kinnickinnic. The name “Milwaukee” came from a Native American word that referred to it as a “meeting place of waters.”

Whitcomb’s love for Milwaukee drove him to seek out a new “meeting place of waters.” In 1847, he settled where Johnson Creek, Kellogg Creek, and other smaller creeks flowed into the Willamette.

Where the change in spelling came from is a bit of a mystery. Some say it was a practical joke one Milwaukee, Wisconsin, newspaper played on another involving stolen printing press type, while others say it was decided by the Post Office — or perhaps the railroads — to differentiate between the two cities.

It was in his new Milwaukie that Whitcomb built the first steam ship on the Willamette River, as well as a sawmill and gristmill. He later served as Clackamas County’s representative in the Oregon Territorial Legislature from 1852 to 1853 and as postmaster of Milwaukie from 1851 to 1857.

Today, Milwaukie is home to some 20,000 residents, mostly white (88.5 percent according to the 2010 Census) with a median age of 39.9.

Milwaukie is home to several famous local businesses, most notably Bob’s Red Mill — a modern-day grist mill — and Dark Horse Comics, publisher of several graphic novels that later became Hollywood films including “Sin City” and “300,” and Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club 2.” Other notable businesses include Dave’s Killer Bread, Breakside Brewing Co., Precision Castparts, and employee-owned grocery wholesale co-op, Unified Grocers (the city’s largest employer).

Sidebar: How Light Rail Came to the Region


When the Orange Line debuts, it will be almost thirty years since the first MAX line opened and TriMet stepped into the spotlight to become a national leader in public transit. But it wasn’t always that way.

In the early 70s, it looked like public transit in Portland was dying out. Ridership had been falling since the 50s, and Rose City Transit Company, the primary transit service and one of 34 bus and trolley companies to operate in the Portland region in the past hundred years, was going bankrupt.

In a last-ditch effort, the City took over Rose City Transit and called for the creation of a new transit authority to run it. In early 1969, state legislation created the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon — TriMet for short — which immediately took over the former Rose City Transit.

Shortly after, in 1971, the “Transportation Plan for 1990” advised the creation of 54 highways and freeways, believing the bus system would only be used as a source for downtown rush hour commuters. In response, TriMet batted around the idea of developing European-style light rail lines running along the existing railroad lines.

In 1977 TriMet launched Fareless Square in an attempt to increase ridership downtown and reduce air pollution.

Portland had used rail transit in the past — trolley lines and San Francisco-style cable cars — but those systems had died out. Planners, however, saw a revival of rail in the region’s future. Light rail had been used in Europe, but had only recently reemerged in the US. The first modern system — albeit a fairly limited version – had just been opened in San Diego.

Ten years after Fareless Square, the first Metropolitan Area Express (or MAX) opened, connecting Portland to its easterly suburb of Gresham. The Blue Line was eventually extended, tunneling under the West Hills, out to Beaverton and Hillsboro.

In the 1990s, TriMet was looking to replicate its success with the Blue Line and launched a $2.8 billion plan known as the South-North Light Rail Project to connect Clackamas Town Center to Vancouver, WA. It would have run from Clackamas Town Center\ through Milwaukie, along the Union Pacific rightof-way through Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood, to Portland’s downtown and eventually north along Interstate Avenue to Vancouver.

In 1994, the plan was put to the region’s voters, and nearly two-thirds of voters on the Oregon side of the river approved the $475 million bond. Clark County voters, however, rejected a $237.5 million bond that would have provided Washington’s share of the funding.

On September 10, 2001, the Red Line opened connecting riders to Portland International Airport. In 2004, the northern stretch of what would have been the South-North line opened as the Yellow Line, stopping short of Vancouver and instead ending at the Expo Center. Five years later, the Green Line finally connected downtown Portland to Clackamas Town Center, but rather than running through Milwaukie, it made use of existing infrastructure and shares the east-west rails with the Blue and Red MAX Lines before turning south and following I-205 out
to Clackamas.

Still, Milwaukie remained unserved. Now that’s about to change.

Sidebar: Tree Diversity

A street lined with trees of the same species and age is more vulnerable to pests and pathogens. Image cutesy of Portland Urban Forestry.

Overabundance of any one species of tree can lead to increased vulnerability in urban forest. This became increasingly evident as Dutch elm disease dramatically impacted canopy cover in cities across the American Midwest and East Coast.

Many diseases and pests tend to choose trees by family or genus. For example, the European elm bark beetle, which carries Dutch elm disease, has the potential to attack several species from the elm genus (ulmus). This means if elms make up 25 percent of a city’s urban forest, the city stands to lose up to one quarter of their tree canopy to the disease.

Increasing diversity of tree type at the genus and family levels can help increase resilience.((City of Portland. Citywide Tree Inventory Report, 2017. article/638773)) Urban foresters generally use the 10-20-30 rule of thumb which says that a forest population should not consist of more than 10 percent of one species, 20 percent of one genus, or 30 percent of one family. However, more progressive forestry programs are now limiting this to 5-10-20.

Sidebar: Tree Inventories

Trained Volunteers measure and assess trees for the City of Portland’s Tree Inventory Project.

A tree inventory is kind of like a census for trees. It is a way to count and catalog our trees and attributes about the trees like their health, species diversity, age, and size. A city might conduct a tree inventory for a number of reasons, such as determining tree maintenance needs, accessing citywide vulnerability to pests and pathogens, or to make a long range plan for the future of the community’s trees.

Tree inventories are often used by cities when they write comprehensive plans or devise new policy like tree codes, and, like many community forestry efforts, tree inventories are often volunteer driven. In 2016, the city of Portland wrapped up their citywide inventory of street trees. The Portland Tree Inventory Project started as a pilot neighborhood street tree inventory in 2010, and grew to a citywide effort, partnering with Urban Forestry to inventory 218,000 street trees.

Sidebar: Dutch Elm Disease


Dutch elm disease (DED) is a deadly fungus that affects elm trees. It first appeared in the United States in 1930 via shipping crates made of infected elm wood.

The first case of DED in the United States was recorded in Ohio, and soon after it began spreading across the East Coast with disastrous results. The first case of DED hit Portland in 1977 in Overlook Park. The elm was quickly removed, leaving no further outbreaks of DED in western Oregon until 1986, when a second case of DED in Portland was discovered at NE Thirty-Ninth Avenue and E. Burnside Street.((Portland Parks and Recreation, “Urban Forestry Elm Report: Background, Findings and Recommendations,” (October 2015).))

On June 10, 1987, Portland City Council passed an ordinance declaring Dutch elm disease-infected trees a nuisance and enacting an emergency. The ordinance specifies that it is unlawful for elm trees infected with DED to remain on any lot or parcel of land in the city.((City of Portland Parks and Recreation, “Elm Protection Program and Dutch Elm Disease (DED),” article/424029

The city’s monitoring program has thus far been effective at keeping the spread of DED under control throughout the city.

Sidebar: The Dollar Value of Trees


In the last decade, researchers have found a way to put a dollar amount on some of the benefits trees give us, through a program called i-Tree.

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Forest Service that helps urban foresters assess and quantify various components of their tree population. i-Tree takes details from existing inventories and quickly produces a cost-benefit analysis of the trees to the community.((iTree: Tools for Assessing and Managing Forests & Community Trees, https://www.itreetools. org/ )) In 2006, the City of Portland used iTree to perform a comprehensive analysis of the structure and function of the city’s trees, and to assign an economic value to the benefits they provide.

The iTree analysis demonstrated that for every dollar invested in the public tree asset, Portland enjoys three dollars and eighty cents in benefits.((Angie DiSalvo, Julie Fukuda, and Jeff Ramsey, “Street Tree Inventory Report: City of Portland” (April 2017).)) According to the City of Portland’s tree inventory, the city’s street trees produce an estimated $28.6 million annually in environmental and aesthetic benefits.((DiSalvo, “Street Tree Inventory.”))

Sidebar: What is Urban Forestry?


Urban forestry is the cultivation and management of trees in urban areas, and is sometimes referred to as city forestry or community forestry. The United States is a leader in the field of urban forestry. Trees and greenspace have been valued in urban environments in America since the mid-nineteenth century, when urban designers like Frederick Law Olmsted, Ebenezer Howard, and Patrick Geddes began exploring the value of green space and trees as an integral (and valuable) part of the metropolitan landscape.((Robert Young, “Interdisciplinary Foundations of Urban Ecology,” Urban Ecosystems 12 (2009): 311–331.))

The concept of urban forestry emerged here during the 1960s as the introduction of new devastating pests and pathogens created a need for the management systems to cope with them.((Mark Johnston, “A Brief History of Urban Forestry in the United States,” Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry 20, no. 3 (1996): 257–278. )) The development of tree ordinances emerged as Dutch elm disease ravaged cities in the eastern United States from the 1930s to 1960s. The movement continued to grow in response to urban development and loss of urban tree canopy.

The 1980s brought a second generation of city tree ordinances, due to a growing desire in communities to preserve nature as new development happened. These new ordinances often included specific provisions such as the diameter of trees and percentage of trees to be protected during development.((Haileng Xiao, “Local Ordinances to Protect Private Trees: A Field Investigation and an Analysis,” ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 1995.)) This era also saw the creation of nonprofit organizations functioning as community tree advocates.

Today contemporary urban forestry programs often rely heavily on nonprofit tree advocacy groups for tree plantings, outreach, and stewardship efforts.((Wolf, “Introduction to Urban and Community Forestry Programs,” 19–28.)) Groups like the Arbor Day Foundation, working at the national level, also provide support for local urban forestry efforts.