This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 1, 2002 5:25 PM. The previous post in this blog was Wow. The next post in this blog is More on "The Rising". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 1, 2002

Rinky dink

The Portland City Council and some downtown merchants are trying to find $12 million to put an ice skating rink on Pioneer Courthouse Square for four months every winter, beginning at Thanksgiving. Their theory is that it will bring more people to the area, especially in the slow months between Christmas and spring break.

Of course, this $12 million will include at least $1 million of public money, and the council seems eager to spend it.

I doubt that this is worth the effort. The real problem with the square and surrounding blocks is not the lack of public amenities. It's the creeps that have taken over the area, with nary a cop in sight. The day earlier this year when a 30-year-old "panhandler" aggressively solicited me -- including following me, way too close, and putting his hand on my arm -- that was my last discretionary day at the square.

Now the city that can't afford police stations open at night, or a working mental health system, or any answer for heroin addiction other than a downtown methadone clinic, is ready to pony up for an ice rink.


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