1. The Ben Linder Memorial Award for the most inspirational juggler is awarded each year during the Portland Juggling Festival. (Nominations are open to any Portland Juggling Festival attendee.) Portlandjugglers.org

    Benjamin Ernest Linder (1959 - 1987) was a Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington based juggler, unicyclist, and clown who earned a degree in engineering at the University of Washington. He led an inspiring life, and was killed during United States funded 'Contras" ambush in April 1987 along with two Nicaraguans. They had been working on a construction site for a small hydroelectric plant for the village of San Jose de Bocay.

    From Wikipedia in 2015: "Linder felt inspired by the 1979 Sandinista revolution, and wanted to support its efforts to improve the lives of the country's poorest people. The Reagan administration, however, saw the Sandinistas as a beachhead of Soviet Communism in the Western Hemisphere, and was determined to cripple the revolution. Beginning in 1981, the Central Intelligence Agency secretly trained, armed and supplied thousands of Contra rebels. A major element of the Contras' strategy was to launch attacks on government cooperatives, health clinics and power stations — the very things that most exemplified the improvements that had been brought about by the revolution.

    In 1986, Linder moved from Managua to El Cuá, a village in the Nicaraguan war zone, where he helped form a team to build a hydroelectric plant to bring electricity to the town. While living in El Cuá, he participated in vaccination campaigns, using his talents as a clown, juggler, and unicyclist to entertain the local children, for whom he expressed great affection and concern.

    On 28 April 1987, Linder and two Nicaraguans were killed in a Contra ambush while traveling through the forest to scout out a construction site for a new dam for the nearby village of San José de Bocay. The autopsy showed that Linder had been wounded by a grenade, then shot at point-blank range in the head. The two Nicaraguans — Sergio Hernández and Pablo Rosales — were also killed at close range. Linder was posthumously awarded the Courage of Conscience award on September 26, 1992.
    Linder's death quickly inflamed the already-polarized debate inside the United States, with opponents of U.S. policy decrying the use of taxpayers' dollars to finance the killing of an American citizen as well as thousands of Nicaraguan civilians.

    The administration fought back, with White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater quoted in The New York Times as saying that U.S. citizens working in Nicaragua had "put themselves in harm's way". Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, an ardent proponent of the Contra War, echoed that view, saying that Linder should have known better than to be in a combat zone.

    Linder's mother Elisabeth, in Nicaragua for her son's funeral, said,

    "My son was brutally murdered for bringing electricity to a few poor people in northern Nicaragua. He was murdered because he had a dream and because he had the courage to make that dream come true. ... Ben told me the first year that he was here, and this is a quote, 'It's a wonderful feeling to work in a country where the government's first concern is for its people, for all of its people."[3]

    During a Congressional hearing in May 1987, some defenders of U.S. policy in Nicaragua responded, launching personal attacks on Linder's family and other witnesses. The Village Voice reported one exchange between Republican Congressman Connie Mack of Florida and Elisabeth Linder, who had just given emotional testimony about her son's work and motivations. Mack accused Mrs. Linder of using her grief "to politicize this situation", adding, "I don't want to be tough on you, but I really feel you have asked for it." [4]

    The death of Linder, coming as Congressional hearings investigated the Iran-Contra Affair, fueled the debate in the U.S. over the covert war in Nicaragua. The next year, Congress refused to renew aid to the Contras. But the civil war, conscription into the army, the collapse of the economy, and the curtailment of civil liberties in the mid-1980s all combined to cause the defeat of the FSLN government in February 1990 elections.

    In July 1996, American journalist Paul Berman published an article in The New Yorker featuring an interview with a man who claimed to have killed Linder.[5] Linder's parents and their lawyers publicly denounced the article and disputed the veracity of the man Berman interviewed. In 2001 journalist Joan Kruckewitt, who lived in Nicaragua from 1983 to 1991 and covered the war between the Sandinistas and the Contras for ABC Radio, wrote a book entitled The Death of Ben Linder giving a more sympathetic portrait of Linder's life, work, and death."

    # vimeo.com/140367234 Uploaded
  2. An interview with John Laursen, of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association, immediately after
    the "Compromise Resolution" regarding the Historic Reservoirs.
    See my video vimeo.com/134819921 Here at Vimeo for almost every minute of this City Council meeting.
    (a few moments lost during tape change)
    City Council video archives for this day: "Jul 15 2015 AM" portlandoregon.gov/video/player/?tab=council
    More information: MTNA Blog "From the Co-Chair " mtna-landuse.blogspot.com

    # vimeo.com/134866637 Uploaded
  3. It was heroic and unprecedented. To quickly understand what happened; watch this short "wrap-up" interview. 00:05 Members of the Mt Tabor Neighborhood Association and the Water Bureau co-wrote a Council Resolution, which carries the binding force of law, which covers several community concerns and mandates $4 million in spending for the preservation work called out in the 2009 Historic Structures Report.
    The vote: Yes (Fritz, Hales, Saltzman, Fish) No (Novick)  
    Comm Fish's six surprise amendments- 35:48 Value of Reversibility- 52:06 D. Schaff on fact that "they" are still part of our water system - 55:03 Public testimony starts- 57:27 4 Million $ is less than the million required by Historic Landmarks Comm. - 1:22:19 Portland Water Bureau will honor this resolution- 1:24:43 Council vows the city will do this- 1:40:09
    Mayor Hales on Mayor Ivancie's Neighborhood Association quote- 1:38:32
    The next Council meeting on the Reservoirs subject will be August 19, 2015 on the Land Use Permit.

    # vimeo.com/134819921 Uploaded
  4. Almost 4 hours long, but click the timecode below to jump to selected testimony.
    HLC Condition B - 17:16 Hillary Adams (HLC staff) error regarding reservoir fill levels 18:10
    HLC condition E 19:41 more- 21:30 Mt Tabor Neighborhood Assoc. 44:29 and 1:23:24
    Historic Landmarks Commission ( HLC) 1:42:07 Harris Matarazzo 1:51:53
    PUBLIC TESTIMONY - 1:58:56
    Results summary: The Public Record on this hearing will be kept open until 5pm on June 11, 2015.
    You may comment in writing even if you were not at this hearing. email: CCTestimony@portlandoregon.gov.
    (My suggestions: 1.Urge Council to embrace the MTNA's requests, 2. Reject the Water Bureau's appeal,
    and 3. Uphold all of the Historic Landmark Commission's decision, especially conditions B. and E.)
    City Council will take this up again on June 25 at 2pm, and will take a "tentative vote" then on the subject of the Mt Tabor Reservoirs disconnection.

    # vimeo.com/129354785 Uploaded
  5. May 13, 2015 PDX City Council shut down. Protested 2pm vote on Demolition of 1894 Washington Park Drinking Water Reservoirs. No public testimony allowed. 80 million dollar cost to ratepayers. Possibly 30,00
    dump trucks over 2.5 years. Needless waste. Vote them all out. Change PDX's corrupt commissioner system of government. You may think the protest in this video is extreme, but years from now when you remember what
    Portland had, and then lost, due to City Council's refusal to listen to reasonable citizens between 2002
    and 2015, you may find yourself finally understanding how you and Portland were robbed by our own Water Bureau and City Council, and you may feel more sympathy with this small protest that took place today.

    # vimeo.com/127858690 Uploaded

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