This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 18, 2003 11:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Hello out there. The next post in this blog is Calling 'em as he sees 'em. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Stop the insanity

The fair city of Portland, Oregon can be a truly nutty place sometimes. Here we are all running around trying to figure out what to do now that the state, county, city, and schools are all certifiably broke. Parents of public school students of all grades are organizing volunteer schools that will start operating in May, when the schools close a full month early. They'll all be run off school grounds in donated or rented space. Former heroin addicts will be having their methadone cut over the next few weeks, and the county will not have the funds to prosecute them if they steal cars or their contents to raise money for heroin. Other drug treatment programs are also laying off workers beginning March 1. The lack of a functional mental health system is resulting in an obvious increase in the number of sick folks on the streets. And the police stations are closed at night and on weekends for lack of funds.

Meanwhile, in other Portland news:

Plans to build new light-rail links to the Clackamas Town Center and Milwaukie continue along. City of Portland's pledge: $40 million.

Meetings are being scheduled to extend the municipal trolley from the Pearl District to NE 21st Avenue. The pressing issue of the day: the precise route. Cost to the city: not disclosed.

And last night we had the first lecture by designers of the new aerial tram that will link the university hospital on the hill to the swanky new North Macadam development planned just south of the Marquam Bridge. Estimated cost of the public improvements needed for the project: $70 million. The city's share of that? No one will own up to it, but it's got to be at least half.

For heaven's sake, somebody tell me, who (if anyone) is running this operation?

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