A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Incomplete: Another sign of supply problems

Written July 30th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The unfinished corner of the Periwinkle Bikepath extension at Queen and Geary on July 26.

If you’re wondering why the extension of the Periwinkle Bikepath along Queen Avenue in Albany is still unfinished, there’s an explanation. And like so much else these days, it has to do with a shortage of supplies and the time it takes to get things you want or need.

What shortage, you ask?

Well, take little things like a certain brand of soft margarine that comes in a yellow plastic box. It’s been off the grocery shelves for weeks. At Fred Meyer in Albany, there’s a little note saying they’ll restock it as soon as it’s available.

No margarine? When was the last time that happpened? World War II?

Or take big things, like the refurbishing of Central School in Albany so that the children and their teachers don’t have to shiver in the winter or swelter during the warm days of spring. The schoolboard hoped the construction including HVAC upgrades would be done this summer. In July the board was told that sorry, the project won’t be done until the summer of 2023.

And why is that? Because the lead time for delivery of the electrical box needed for this project is 12 months.

Then there’s the sad sight of Albany car lots. The lots are mostly empty of new merchandise. There’s a smattering of second-hand vehicles, but generally the lots look pretty bare. The story is that manufacturers can’t make cars fast enough because of the continuing shortage of computer chips.

As for the Queen Avenue extension of the bikeway and multiple-use path to the intersection with Geary, most of the path has been finished. But the crucial end, at Geary Street, is incomplete and impassable.

From Chris Cerklewski, the engineer overseeing the project for Albany Public Works, the explanation on Wednesday was this: “The contractor is planning on having all of the sidewalk work at Queen and Geary done in the next couple of weeks.  They have had issues getting concrete delivered for the project due to high demand this summer, which has slowed them down.”

So, to all the other stuff you can’t get when you want it, we must add ready mix. That’s even though suppliers must be well aware that summer is the time when demand for paving material is at its height.

The public has been told about supply chain problems for a long time. Labor shortages, Covid-19, reliance on China, congestion at the ports, pilferage at rail yards (especially in Los Angeles), the price of diesel fuel, inflation driving everybody mad — the list of unsolved problems goes on and on.

A little delay in a minor paving job that benefits mostly a few people on bikes is no big deal.

But as for the wider picture of our overall economy, you may be forgiven if you start to think the wheels are coming off. (hh)


The same corner from a slightly different angle on Saturday evening, July 30.

31 responses to “Incomplete: Another sign of supply problems”

  1. MarK says:

    Just waiting for that shoe to drop on the Gibson Hill road resurfacing project. I know it took forever to get the signal box working at Crocker.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    It’s a classic economic case of ‘too much money chasing too few goods,’ resulting in a surge in demand which caused shortages and higher prices.

    Instead of multiple stimulus packages a better economic policy would be to return to the policies and laws that were in effect when Trump left office in early 2021.

    My IRA did well during the Trump years. Not so well (actually dismal) under Biden. I’m becoming a one issue voter. This doesn’t bode well for Biden or the Dems.

    • centrist says:

      More likely related to a business/manufacturing strategy from the 80s.
      General Bullmoose saw OSHA, EPA, and other regulators as intruders to the turf.
      By offshoring manufacturing, regulatory liability went away. Costs went down.
      Oh, the educators changed curriculum. With manufacturing leaving, they moved to preparation for a service economy.
      We now have instability in manufacturing centers, as well as an upset in the shipping chain.
      A thought occurred while reading about significant WWII battles in Europe. The winners had more and better equipment, a steady supply of food and ammunition, and an internal manufacturing base that could build in quantity.
      We took a wrong turn 40ish years ago.

  3. John Hartman says:

    Hasso writes, with his usual cheery aplomb, “But as for the wider picture of our overall economy, you may be forgiven if you start to think the wheels are coming off.”

    Since Mr. Hering has strode this planet for a considerable period, he is fully aware of any number of economic slowdowns throughout the course of his reign. There have been several booms and busts during the decades Hering has pedaled his particular brand of gloom and doom. And yet, overall the nation has been on an economic bender since the Nazis and the Japanese surrendered. The United States is so filthy rich that we have lotteries paying out $1.28 Billion dollars on a $1-dollar bet.

    So please, Hasso. Whatever your political motives are, we beg you to paint an accurate picture and stop with the inaccurate, misleading polemic. Quit pandering. Your livelihood is no longer dependent on sating the reactionary lust of Albany.

    • MarK says:

      Who’s “we”? Sounds like you’re just ONE misguided soul.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Biden supporter? Sorry for your embarrassment.

    • Birdieken says:

      Take a look at federal debt clock.org, for a rude awaking. In one generation with the leadership that is now in congress our country went from the greatest creditor to now the greatest debtor nation in our history, in ONE generation. Why did President Biden send U.S. oil reserves to China?

  4. Cheryl P says:

    Aren’t these projects planned in advance? And aren’t the supply chain issues something that has been going on for a couple of years now?

    When I plan on baking a cake, I make sure I have ALL the ingredients I need BEFORE I get started. I don’t wait until it’s time to add the flour and then have to lie my kid, “Sorry honey, you’re not getting your birthday cake because there is a ‘supply chain’ issue” when the truth is I’m a bad parent for not planning ahead that flour might be in short supply.,

    • MarK says:

      Results of choosing the low bidder

      • Rich Kellum says:

        It could just as easily be: when they asked for bids, they didn’t stipulate the time for completion with enough penaltys.

      • centrist says:

        M K
        More likely that there are more concrete projects in progress in the region than the plants can supply.

        “If you want something really bad, that’s likely how you’ll get it.”
        (Production management truism)

  5. Kent says:

    I appreciate Hasso’s reporting about Albany and the region. But politics, that will just flavor the reporting and cause flames to ignite that we do not need just now as we need to be united as a nation.

    • Abe Cee says:

      Of course since he’s writing on his own blog he should feel free to be as political as he chooses. If you don’t like it, you’re free to read elsewhere. Don’t let the keyboard hit you on the way out.

    • H. R. Richner says:

      We are a union of sovereign states and do not have to be united as a nation. Whenever we are the closest to that idea, states lose more of their liberty which is essential for the survival of our historic experiment of a free country.h

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        IMHO, the preamble to the Constitution reads & says different:

        “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

        • Al Nyman says:

          It’s a wonderful preamble but the founders put the electoral college in place because the small states did not want to be dominated by the large states; now every liberal wants to do away with that so California and New York can dominate therefore nullifying the preamble. In 2016, Trump won the majority of the votes in 49 states except for the idiots to the south which Oregon is trying to emulate.

          • centrist says:

            Two different things that don’t relate to the point until squoze together.
            The facts about the election are the facts— one candidate won. Move on.

          • centrist says:

            Gotta call a foul here.
            Biden took 35 states plus DC.It’s a fact. You could look it up. ( Tip.of the hat to Fiorello LaGuardia)

        • John Hartman says:

          The preamble was written by those intent on eliminating Native Americans in order to “secure the blessings” by theft, murder and genocide. The preamble was written by wealthy landowners who’d illegally stolen their holdings from those same Native Americans and then, these same folks brought in forced slave labor in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and insure domestic tranquility. Whenever I hear people touting this American mythology, I wonder if anybody studies history in a contextual manner, or do most simply accept the pablum they’ve been fed in classroom.
          These wealthy white males who wrote the preamble retained all political power for themselves. Consequently, it might prove beneficial to examine these people with a slightly more critical eye.

          • MarK says:

            You’re an embarrassment

          • Kurt Zeller says:

            J. Hartman is essentially right on this point, although he used a couple of words I wouldn’t use. American Slavery, American Freedom, by Edmund Morgan, written in 1975, is an excellent book on some of the early history of this country. I definitely recommend it.

          • Mr Patrick Henry says:

            H J Wacky,/////…………… according to various Native peoples, Slavery existed thousands of years here before the terrible white eyes showed up, they enslaved each other and stole each others wives, children and anything else that was of value for thousands of years….. then of course the white guys show up and bring slaves……… white slaves better known as indentured servants, mostly irish, and finally black folks were brought here enslaved by the Hispanics who bought them in west Africa and put them on slave ships to Hispaniola to be sold back into slavery to mostly white Democrats.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Biden supporter? Sorry for your embarrassment.

      • HJ.ANONY Numero Uno says:

        Hasso, very interesting. You let this guy post this twice. Buddies?

        We love Biden. He just got another one of the 9/11 terrorists while the former guy host a golf tournament by those same 9/11 Saudi terrorists.

        The contrast could not be more stark.


        • Hasso Hering says:

          Guess I wasn’t paying attention. Some people get impatient when their comments sit unposted for a time. So they keep sending the same damn thing over and over. And then I can’t remember if I’ve already posted it. That’s how repeat comments happen.

  6. CHEZZ says:

    I was just in Albany Gen. Hospital for a blood test. The hospital is out of many supplies. I asked how long their backlog has been going on. They said – when the pandemic hit…

  7. H. R. Richner says:

    The preamble does not have the force of law. The working body of the constitution is there precisely to limit what’s essentially a commercial for it.

    • centrist says:

      That’s a different way to look at it.
      The preamble says that the states joined together to build the document that defines the rules for operation of the national government. That document follows.

  8. centrist says:

    i bit
    How did a supply point devolve into a Constitution discussion,???


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