To the Point Topics for April 22, 2010 Show

These were the topics of discussion for the two To the Point shows we taped on April 22, 2010. You will be able to find the shows on our YouTube channel and on the To the Point website soon!

Show 1

Topic 1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not accept demands that Israel stop building in occupied East Jerusalem. Will this cause a new flare up in violence or is Israel using this as a bargaining chip to jump start stalled Palestinian – Israeli peace talks?

Topic 2

On April 16, the Securities and Exchange commission filed a complaint against Goldman, Sachs & Company and one of its employees Fabrice Tourre. The suit alleges that Goldman, Sachs created a synthetic housing-market bond that was sure to fail, sold the bond to customers, and then conspired with a short seller to bet against it. Could this one bond and the people involved have triggered the collapse of the financial markets, and one of the worst recessions in recent history, all while Goldman Sachs posted record profits?

Topic 3

The Portland City Council recently approved a plan that would impose new regulations on where and how developers can build along an 11-mile stretch of the Willamette River. The River Plan, as it’s called, would require developers to set aside 15 percent of their property for landscaping when they start projects, and would require any existing project that expands a business’s footprint would undergo a new city review process. Many businesses along the river are already crying foul, and rumor has it that Washington is already courting the ports and rail yards to move north. Is the new River Plan the best way to strike a balance between businesses and the river environment, or will it just drive businesses out of the state?

Show 2

Topic 1

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made a successful appeal to the Iraqi court to order a recount of votes for the recent parliamentary elections, due to allegations of widespread fraud. Election results showed former prime minister Ayad Allawi with a slim lead. Will this recount signal an end to the Maliki government and a shift in US-Iraq relations?

Topic 2

The FAA recently imposed a moratorium on all new wind projects in the Mid-Columbia region of Oregon. The reason? The wind turbines interfere with a military radar site in Fossil. Wind farms developed by large corporations and private land owners in Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Klickitat counties have time-sensitive binding power purchase agreements and a wide variety of contracts in place that could cost the Mid-Columbia region to lose $2-3 billion dollars in new investments, jobs, property taxes, land leases, and other economic activities if the ban is not lifted. Did the FAA blindside these projects by shutting them down in such a critical stage, and do the landowners have any recourse? What’s the real story here?

Topic 3

The Portland Police Bureau has been under siege for recent actions resulting in numerous deaths. Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman requested further review, and the FBI is now beginning an investigation into at least one specific incident, the fatal police shooting of Aaron Campbell, an unarmed man who was shot in the back earlier this year. If the investigation finds violations of federal criminal civil rights statutes, what can and should be done to get the police bureau back on track?

To the Point TV Show: February 2010

After a year on hiatus, the political talk show To the point! is back. These are the topics we discussed on the last show. I just checked the website and the shows haven’t been uploaded, but check back in about a week or so at


In this photo from left to right: Richard Donin, Matt Wingard, Kelly Jo Horton, Courtney Clarke, Mike Riley.

Panelists for these two shows were:

Richard Donin, Energy and Educational Consultant
Al Young, former Oregon State Legislator
and guest panelists Courtney Clarke, a local business owner
and Jack Ohman, Editorial Cartoonist for the Oregonian

Show 1:
First: International

On January 12th, the worst earthquake in 200 years struck less than 10 miles from the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, turning an already impoverished nation into a pile of rubble. Many have compared the disaster in Haiti to the devastation of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, but you can’t really compare a regional disaster to an entire country in pieces, or can you? When the cameras stop rolling and the celebrities stop raising money for Haiti, will they be able to recover and how long will it take?

Second: National
Toyota Motor Corporation has been criticized for its initial response to the consumer complaints of unintended acceleration in some of its vehicles. In a recent hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee California State Representative Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said Toyota had three responses to the consumer complaints: First, blame the driver. Second, blame the floor mat. Third, blame a sticky gas pedal. Toyota has now recalled more than eight million vehicles world-wide for unintended acceleration, brake problems and other issues. Is it too little too late, and have they damaged the brand loyalty?

Third: Statewide
Oregon voters recently passed Measures 66 and 67, which were supposed to prevent further layoffs in the public school system and fund public services. Since the measures became law some local businesses have closed due to the retroactive taxes owed, and schools are still being asked to make cuts. Did the voters really know what they were voting for, and where did all of the money go?

Fourth: Local
As we sit here and tape this show, the Metro Council is discussing the urban growth boundary, and voting on agreements with the three Portland-area counties to designate which land will be developed and which will remain rural for the next 40 to 50 years. Should Metro be picking the winners and losers, and will these property owners have any recourse if they want to but can’t develop their land?

Show 2:

First: International
U.N. Climate Chief Yvo de Boer recently resigned after four years of leading international climate change negotiations. Some say it was due to the chaos of the Copenhagen summit last year, and the fact that the summit quickly became known as Climate-gate after 1,000 suspicious emails between climate scientists were leaked to the public. Will these scientists ever be able to regain the trust of the global community, and will the world’s largest polluters be motivated to change now?

Second: National
President Obama’s healthcare bill seems to be losing steam, with the recent departure of some supporters on the Democratic side of the aisle. Does President Obama have what it takes to convince the House and Senate to pass some sort of healthcare reform, or has his window of opportunity passed?

Third: Statewide
(I had to write this topic five minutes before the show because the previous topic was outdated by the time I drove to the studio!) We discussed the future of the newspaper industry, given the fact that the Oregonian had laid off 37 people the week we taped the show, and the fact that we had Jack Ohman on the show to discuss the topic.

Fourth: Local
The City of Portland is taking unspent money from the Big Pipe waste-water project, to use for other purposes, such as bike paths. The Willamette Week newspaper has documented other cases where the City of Portland is taking money collected for one purpose and using it for other purposes. Are these the kind of decisions Portland officials were elected to make?

The Muse at 48

Forty eight years ago today my mom put down her cup of coffee, stubbed out her cigarette, looked at my dad, and said, “It’s time.”

That was the first Facebook status I posted on my forty-eighth birthday earlier this week. I don’t know if it’s true, but knowing my mom, I’m sure it is. In fact I’m pretty sure she finished the cigarette before she went to the hospital.

Many of you have inquired as to my whereabouts over the past two months, so I thought I’d update you. I checked out from the public spotlight for a couple of months. Okay that’s a bit of a lie. I worked like a dog. That’s the truth.

Excuse #1: Working Like a Dog

I work in the field of interactive television. I am in a small group of people who deploy the hardware and software that supports all of the interactive applications my company has running at any given time. Well, for the past few months we have been ramping up to launch two major appllications. First an app for the Olympics on the NBC cable channels (MSNBC, CNBC and USA). This required lots of prep and being on call 24/7 during the Olympics. I can’t say much here, but let’s just say this one went out to about 13 million cable households.

Second, I was the lead support person for a Showtime Boxing app that launched last week. So I spent many nights testing that app on a live channel while you all were sleeping. :^) I spent last Friday night actually on the phone with everyone involved while we watched the app playout during a live MMA match. This was an incredible moment, because this was the first app ever to play out nationally on HD.

This is what I do for a living. This is what the app looks like on Showtime:

Excuse #2: Exes

Enough said. Let’s just say I see my attorney way too often.

Excuse #3: Kids

Demanding little buggers!

Excuse #4: Real Life

In the past two months I have been bowling with a little Yeti figure, spent time with an Italian tutor/friend, been to the Kink Live Performance Lounge a few times, discovered some great bands around town, survived a layoff, instigated Narcissist Thursdays (which is sometimes held on Saturdays), auditioned for Leverage (the TNT series), changed agents (now with OMM for modeling and film), gone swing dancing for the first time in years, kissed a stranger on New year’s Eve (He was hot!), started doing my TV show again after a year off, rediscovered the library.

Promise #1: I can’t Not Write

I love to write. It feeds my soul. I just don’t know what form that will take. This website will stay and my blogs will be here. I may also continue to write for The Portlander. We shall see.

Yeti Bowling


To the Point TV show


To the Point TV Show Topics for Jan. 6, 2009

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since we last taped a To the Point TV show. I had been writing, co-producing and hosting this show for over three years when I decided to take a break last January. It was a lot of work for no pay. But it was always interesting and challenging.

Well, all good breaks must come to an end. We taped two back-to-back shows last night, and they will start airing in the Portland Metro area next week on channels 21 and 23 I think. They will be up on our website in a week or two.

The panelists last night were:

State Representative Matt Wingard

Mike Riley, Riley Research

Richard Donin, Energy and Educational Consultant

and guest panelist Courtney Clarke, a local business owner.

The protests that began after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial re-election in June have grown into what some say is the biggest challenge to the government since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Just this week the government banned all citizens from cooperating with foreign organizations such as the BBC, Voice of America, and various human rights groups, saying these groups were trying to destabilize the government.  Who will prevail, Ahmadinejad or the people of Iran, and what if anything can the world community do?

On December 25th a suspected al-Qaeda member, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, got on Northwest Airlines flight 253 in Amsterdam and attempted to detonate a bomb during the flight’s final descent into Detroit. British intelligence had been tracking Abdulmutallab for more than a year, and Abdulmutallab’s father had warned U.S. intelligence of his son’s radical behavior six weeks prior to the incident. The U.S. has already announced it will require additional screening for air passengers bound for the U.S. from any of 14 countries, including Algeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. But will this work?

According to the Cascade Policy Institute (a free market think tank), Measures 66 and 67 could cost Oregon up to 70,000 jobs. Opponents of the measure say we shouldn’t be increasing taxes during a recession and the government hasn’t tightened its belt enough.  Proponents say the tax is only on the wealthiest Oregonians and corporations and that schools and health care services will have to be cut if the tax increases don’t pass. Let’s talk about the key points in these measures.

He’s a former Portland Trailblazer, a financial adviser, and a sometimes basketball and lacrosse coach in Lake Oswego. He’s Chris Dudley and he’s running for Governor. Can he win the  Republican nomination with a lot of financial backing but no political experience?


The country of Yemen is being torn apart by a tribal rebellion, a secessionist movement, and the worst poverty and unemployment in the Arab world. And al-Qaeda has been quick to take advantage of the chaos, and create a presence in Yemen. How can the U.S. be most effective in fighting this terrorist organization?


Both the Senate and the House have put forth legislation to pass a behemoth healthcare bill. Some argue the bill violates constitutional rights. Others say it doesn’t go far enough. Assuming the bill passes, what will be the most significant impacts on the average U.S. citizen?


According to an investigative report published in The Oregonian newspaper, the administration of Governor Ted Kulongoski misrepresented the true cost of a tax credit created to subsidize renewable energy, in order to get it passed by the State Legislature. Is the Business Energy Tax Program still a good program even with the additional costs?


Economists say the state has technically climbed out of recession. but tell that to the 11.1% of Oregonians who are still unemployed. Tom Potiowsky, Oregon government’s chief economist says it’s a jobless recovery and it’s going to be a long, slow road. What is it going to take for Oregon to dig itself out of the recession?

To the Point Topics for December 2008

Originally published on MySpace on December 10, 2008.

We’re taping a To the Point TV show today, and these are the topics for today:

Five Blackwater employees, all of them U.S. military veterans, were charged Monday with manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in a case where at least 17 Iraqi civilians were killed. Was it self defense? Were they following orders? Should their superiors be held responsible as well?

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was recently arrested, accused of trying to trade the Senate seat left vacant by US President-elect Barack Obama. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was recently convicted on seven felony counts. Is corruption becoming politics as usual?

The media is having a feeding frenzy with it’s doom-and-gloom headlines every day. Is all of the negative press actually becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and creating a deeper recession?

Vestas, the world’s largest windmill maker has announced that it will create 1,200 new jobs in Portland, relocating its North American headquarters and building a new manufacturing plant. Solarworld is turning its Hillsboro factory into the largest solar-wafer and cell factory in the United States and adding 1000 new jobs by 2010. Is the Portland Metro area setting the stage to become a regional leader in global “green-energy” development?

Chime in before noon and I might quote you on the show!

The episode will be posted online in a few days at

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