Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Will Hillsboro pass Gresham by the next census?

Will Hillsboro pass Gresham by the next census?

A few weeks ago the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest estimate for cities. As I expected, Hillsboro jumped over the 100,000 mark and now has an estimated population of 102,347. Note, these are different than the estimates the state uses which are determined by PSU's Population Research Center, and these figures reflect an estimate as of July 1, 2015. So nearly a year old at this point.

As a bit of a statistics geek, I like to look at these and trends. I also like to look at how Hillsboro is relative to its neighbors, and with Beaverton firmly in the rear view at this point, it is time to look ahead at Gresham.

What I mean is this, Hillsboro overtook Beaverton (or re-overtook as the two have traded places a few times over the last century or so) about 2007 as the fifth most populous in Oregon, which is why the official name for the Portland area is the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSA. Number four on that list is Gresham, which had passed Hillsboro at the 1980 census count. So the big question seems to be when will Hillsboro overtake Gresham as the fourth most populous city in Oregon?

PSU's estimates peg that has happening in the 2020s. However, looking at the latest data from the Census folks, whose numbers vary considerably from PSU's, I think there is a very good chance Hillsboro passes Gresham at the next census in 2020. This assumes growth continues around what it has been, with some caveats.

First, the numbers:
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Hillsboro 91,611 93,455 95,327 97,368 99,393 102,347
1,844 1,872 2,041 2,025 2,954
Gresham 105,594 107,439 108,956 109,397 109,892 110,553
1,845 1,517 441 495 661
What this shows is the year, the population, and from 2011 through 2015 the raw increase in residents. This clearly shows Hillsboro is catching up, and doing so fairly quickly since 2011. This is not just some short term anomaly either, as Hillsboro's growth at the 2000 census was about 87% compared to about 32% for Gresham, and about 30% at the 2010 census compared to about 17% in Gresham. This also tends to relate to larger trends of faster growth in their respective counties.

Given those historical trends, clearly Hillsboro will catch Gresham at some point, assuming the growth continues as it has. That is not a given, as the growth rates between the two cities have varied much over the last 100 years, and any number of things could alter what ends up happening.

This then gets us into the more recent trends of much more rapid growth in Hillsboro versus Gresham. Hillsboro has seen a lot of apartments go up in the last five years or so. That explosive growth ass started to wain a bit in the last year, but some of the new apartments would not be part of the 2015 numbers yet, as the Platform District was largely unfinished a year ago. Thus, it is safe to say some of the growth will continue at least into the next estimate in a year. 

Meanwhile, while multifamily housing boomed, single-family residences took a back seat, still suffering from the Great Recession. However, that seems to be waning as well, as a drive around town will show many new housing developments going in, and this all without South Hillsboro starting yet. 

Speaking of South Hillsboro, it appears construction might finally kick-off this year, or next year at the latest, providing a boost to growth later this decade. Even outside of the actual boundaries of South Hillsboro, the Witch Hazel area that was planned circa 2005 is also only about half built-out, so there is still relatively large tracts of land there as well, which largely already has roads and other infrastructure in place.

Next, we have annexation. To-date, Hillsboro has largely avoided annexation, other than at the request of property owners. That compares to Beaverton where much of its growth came from annexing existing neighborhoods, with plans at one point that could have made it the second biggest city in Oregon. That included the failed attempt to annex Nike, and those plans seemed to have cooled since that time. Hillsboro could easily see an increase in annexations around the Reedville area as South Hillsboro builds out, and as people in Reedville and Aloha see the value of city services. At the end of the day, annexations will likely not significantly add to Hillsboro's population,put there is potential.

Taking all of these elements into consideration, I put together my own rough estimate as to growth in Hillsboro versus Gresham for the later part of this decade:

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Hillsboro 105,347 108,347 111,347 113,847 115,847
3000 3000 3000 2500 2000
Gresham 111,303 112,053 113,053 114,053 115,053
750 750 1000 1000 1000

As you can see, even without adding 3,000 plus residents each year, Hillsboro does catch Gresham by the next census. This even assumes a slowing of growth in Hillsboro and an uptick in Gresham. And this is not far off from just projecting the growth rates from the last census, which would put Hillsboro at about 120,000 compared to about 124,000 in Gresham. If you use the slower growth rates for both over the last five years, you end up with about 117,650 for Hillsboro and 116,500 for Gresham.

Ultimately, only time will tell what happens. Meanwhile, we statistics geeks can ponder these things.

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Stuff Coming to Hillsboro

New Stuff Coming to Hillsboro

A slight break from my legal musings to announce a few new businesses are coming to Hillsboro, or at least planned. Some are not entirely new, just new locations to Oregon's fifth most populous city.
Your Hillsboro Law Firm

First, Chick-fil-A opens in Tanasbourne on March 31. This is where the old Newport Bay restaurant stood for decades.

The ones that have not made the news are for ones where construction has not yet started. Of those, the biggest item is a new strip mall will replace the Thai Orchard across Cornell from Costco. It will have four suites, three of which have planned tenants. Those are another MOD Pizza, another Chipotle Mexican Grill, and a new appearance in town, Jersey Mike's. Oddly, Starbucks is not opening another coffee shop.

The other new restaurant is also a repeat, Baja Fresh. This one will be on TV Highway just west of Cornelius Pass Road in a new building to be constructed next to the Starbucks. The other Baja Fresh is across from the airport.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Dealing with the Death of a Loved One

Dealing with the Death of a Loved One

No doubt, the death of someone you are close to is a painful experience, but it is an experience everyone will deal with at some time in their lifetime.

There are five stages of grief one usually goes through after a death, which generally occur in this order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. These are based upon the K├╝bler-Rossmodel.

Legal Considerations

From a legal perspective, there are certain legal issues that unfortunately should be addressed while you are still grieving. Most important of these is dealing with the estate of the deceased. Whether that person had a will or trust or nothing at all, their estate should be probated, even if there are little to no assets. This will often help to wipe out certain debts. A probate attorney can handle this process.

If thedeath was wrongful from a legal standpoint, then dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit cannot be put off indefinitely. Not only are there statutes of limitations in play, but if the wrongful party was a government entity, then a tort claim notice has to be filed within 180 days (about six months). Stevens & Legal can handle these cases for you.

Helping Yourself

The last topic to discuss are some ways you can help yourself while dealing with the emotional issues of the death of your loved one. First, there are many free support groups out there to help you discuss the death and your relationship with that person, whereby you can gain empathy from others in similar circumstances. Even if you are not a talker, one of the most effective ways to deal with grief is through talking with others who have also dealt with this or are dealing with it. You can also connect with your family, as death can often bring families back together after years apart. Another option is to find a good book on dealing with death and read it. Also, professional counseling can help, and your health insurance may pay for some sessions. Lastly, do not be afraid to cry.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What to Do When You Are In An Auto Accident

What to Do When You Are In An Auto Accident

Car accidents are an everyday occurrence, and people get hurt and sometimes even killed. Here are a few tips from a personal injury attorney as to what you should do.
First, if there are any injuries, call 911 right away. If no one appears hurt, still call the police to have them come and complete an accident report.

Take as many pictures as you can. This includes the cars around you so witnesses can be located, scene photos of the vehicles before they are moved to show location, and ones showing the damages to all the vehicles.

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers (a cell phone picture of the insurance card works well).

Only discuss how the accident occurred with the police, and not with the other parties.

Write down names and contact information for any witnesses. The police may do this, but witnesses often do not wait around until the police arrive.

If you are injured, seek out medical attention sooner rather than later. You may not feel injured until a few hours later or even days later, but do not wait for the pain to go away.

After you get home from the accident, write down how the accident occurred and draw a diagram. Also write down anything else you can think of about the accident.

Call your own insurance company to report the accident and get a claim number.

Contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation and follow their advice. They have dealt with this type of case many times, and they know how to handle it, while you likely have no experience with it.

Keep a diary to track your injuries, how you feel, what has happened, note any activities you missed out on, and anything else you think are related to the accident.

Do not post anything to social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Anything you tweet can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Also, this would be a good time to consider updating your insurance coverage. Review what insurance you have to ensure you have enough for the next time you are in an accident.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Always Make Sure You Have Enough Insurance

Always Make Sure You Have Enough Insurance

Everybody hates car insurance, until you need it. Most people think it is a waste of money, as they are great drivers. Unfortunately, due to these perceptions, far too many people do not have enough insurance (or none at all), and they do not find this out until it is too late.

First, I am not a fan of the insurance companies, but insurance itself is a necessary evil. Almost as important as having insurance, is to make sure you have enough coverage.

More is better, but there is a balancing act in because more insurance means higher premiums each month. Often times having more insurance is not as expensive as you think. Sitting down with an insurance agent can help you figure out where you might be able to save, but also explain what all of the available coverage options can do for you.

Though you may have an excellent driving record, you still need insurance. You see, what you do not realize is that often times your own insurance comes into play even when you did not cause the accident. That is, even if you are the most careful driver in the worked and never cause an accident, you better hope you are never seriously injured by the 18-year-old who is carrying the state minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage (Oregon). The state minimum would not cover much in the way of any surgeries you may need, nor cover your month of lost income.

Now, yes, you could sue the 18-year-old for more than the $25,000, but good luck collecting from them when they make minimum wage. Plus, if you do get a judgment, they could fairly easily file for bankruptcy and wipe the debt out (not always available).

So what happens instead, is that you look to your own insurance for your underinsured  (UM) coverage. This is where making sure you have adequate limits on your own policy is key. A good number is $100,000, and adding an umbrella policy is also a good option, which can be fairly inexpensive given the amount of coverage they can provide. The underinsurance (UIM) is also uninsured motorist insurance as well, meaning if you get hit by someone with no insurance (as well as if you get hit by a hit & run driver), you will still have coverage.

Then you have the issue of your own liability if you do cause the accident. If you only have the bare minimum insurance and you seriously injury someone, odds are the attorney for the victim will seriously look at going after your assets. If you own a home and have some equity, you could lose your house. But, if you have say $100,000 in coverage, they will be less likely to come after you.

Similarly, your Oregon policy also has personal injury protection (PIP), in which your own auto insurance will pay for your medical bills. You see, the other insurance company will not pay your medical bills until down the line when there is a settlement, so PIP makes sure you can get treatment now. The problem with PIP, is the state minimum is $15,000 (Oregon), which is barely anything when it comes to healthcare. A couple days in the hospital will eat through that in no time. So, again, you can always opt for more. Now, your health insurance will pay for treatments as well, but one nice thing about PIP is you can choose whichever doctors you want, you are not limited to those in your network.

Another great feature of PIP is that it also covers you when you are a bicyclist or a pedestrian and are injured by an automobile. Further, it also covers your family members when they are a bicyclist or a pedestrian. For example, if your ten-year-old is riding their bicycle down the block and runs into a parked car, your PIP will pay for her medical bills.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Some Tips for Hiring an Attorney

First, you want someone who has handled your type of case, or potentially something similar. You may not be able to find someone near you to handle your exact situation, but at the least, find someone who has handled similar cases. Experience is key.

Then we have fit. That is, when you talk to the attorney to take advantage of a free consultation, do you get along? Are you both on the same page as to what you are looking to do? If not, the that lawyer is probably not right for you. The thing is, your attorney cannot fight for you and fight with you at the same time. You must be a unified team. There are plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of attorneys out there to choose from, so you should be able to find one you can work with. If you cannot find one, then perhaps the issue is with you.

Next, do a little research. Vet them online. While attorneys may not have Michelin or Zagat ratings, there are a few places on the internet now that have reviews for attorneys and law firms. GoogleYelp, and Avvo are the main places where consumers can leave reviews about an attorney. Use these as part of your toolbox when looking for an attorney.

Honesty is also very important. This factor is hard to know beforehand, but if your attorney says they are going to do something, make sure they do. And if they do not, then maybe it is time for new counsel. To check on this beforehand, you can check the Oregon State Bar’s website to see if the person you are considering has any record of discipline.

Perhaps ask a friend or co-worker or family about the attorney. Maybe someone you know used a particular attorney before, so you can get an honest opinion about them, or maybe the acquaintance refers you to an attorney they do know.

Lastly is knowledge. Now, experience and knowledge are very similar and tend to go hand-in-hand, but there is a difference. You can usually discern if someone is knowledgeable about some topic when you talk to them. Does it make sense what they are saying, or does it contradict what they said five minutes earlier? Now, no two cases are identical, so you have to make sure your attorney has extensive knowledge in the area of law you are hiring them for.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

My Guide As to Why You Need to Hire an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Case

My Guide As to Why You Need to Hire an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Case

One reason, is people think it costs too much to hire an attorney. Well, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid unless they recover for you. Almost always, an attorney will get you more money than the insurance company is offering, more than enough to cover the expense of hiring an attorney.