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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 13, 2004 8:31 PM. The previous post in this blog was My world, rocked. The next post in this blog is New! Improved! Election endorsements. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The liveable (stab, stab) city

Our Portland city fathers (and temporarily, mother) are very interested in the health of our downtown -- so much so that they're about to drop many millions of tax dollars to rip up the transit mall (again) for light rail. This, along with more fancy streetcars, million-dollar solar parking meters, and cobblestones in front of the Brasserie, is supposed to help bring downtown back to a vibrant state.

But if they really loved downtown so much, wouldn't they first create an atmosphere down there where this kind of stuff wasn't happening?

Comments (16)

Downtown has gotten rough the last few years. I'm surprised it gets as little comment locally as it does, though it often gets startled comment from visitors. They notice what passes without notice anymore from residents.

The property crime rates are much higher than the rates of violent crimes. They also pack a punch.

There's some of your underclass -- and a lot of your drug class.

Yep -- so bad that Commissioner Randy's calling for port-a-jails on the North Park Blocks. But we've got no money for the cops, you see. We've got a tram to build!

Solar parking meters?? Sort sounds like a battery-operated buggy whip to me. :-)

Isn't it kinda incredible that it took the cops over 2 1/2 hours to catch these guys? I usually don't take part in the Portland sport of police-bashing but it doesn't give one much confidence in our police department.

Do you remember, after that gang of street punks murdered, mutilated and burned that poor girl, Mayor Katz said, of street youth, "we welcome them"?

wow, i guess i'm out of it. i'm a 34yr old portland resident who has seen improvements in downtown in the past 10 years. i lived in NW when it was drug haven - now it's just yuppie haven, but clean. old town was a bunch of abandoned buildings a few years ago - now it's called the Pearl. my wife and i come downtown at least 3-4 times a week for shows, dinner etc and we don't keep to just a small area. we go to old town, pearl, downtown, psu area, park blocks, chinatown - and i haven't felt more at ease downtown than I do these days. i do remember having concerns as a younger person walking around old town, but now with all the new clubs down there, the riffraff have moved.

I'm confused why vera thinks we need to rip up more of downtown to make it "better." I like the idea of the transit mall becoming MAX, but do it smartly.

whatever happened to covering 405?

if we're spending money willy nilly- why not have the PDC go around and spruce up some of the storefronts in downtown. I know you'll love that suggestions Jack.

If we're gonna rip up the transit mall, I want to spend that little bit extra to have Max running underground.

It's like riding a banana slug right now.

"Yep -- so bad that Commissioner Randy's calling for port-a-jails on the North Park Blocks. But we've got no money for the cops, you see. We've got a tram to build!

Oh yeah, tram.

I was very proud of my block captain police badge. Though I was advised not to check on the neighborhood I had it for after dark.

I never bash Portland police. But when, after having my wallet stolen in a bus kiosk directly across from Pioneer Square while on crutches three years back, I called them (within 60 seconds) in the early afternoon on a beautiful fall day, it took them two hours to get there. The methheads were long gone by then. That's not my only drug crime story from the last three years.

I disagree with you, Brett. It was better 10 years ago, up from the decade or so before that. And the misery & detritus immediately flanking the Pearl is a real study in contrasts.

Downtown has nearly a pandemic of panhandling, and the police will likely tell you that 90 percent of the property crime rate owes to the drug subculture.

"If we're gonna rip up the transit mall, I want to spend that little bit extra to have Max running underground.

It's like riding a banana slug right now."

Yeah, but it's a bilingual banana slug. How cool is that.

"If we're gonna rip up the transit mall, I want to spend that little bit extra to have Max running underground."

And we could turn the Transit mall into a group of connected Parks. We could be the "Little Dig" of the West Coast.

Justin, thanks for the chuckle.

sally - i disagree with you and seem to remember from posts past that you left portland - so how do you really know how things are?

yes, there are drugs downtown. yes, there is crime. but that's everywhere. i actually feel safe in this city and when asking my peers, they feel the same. we didn't feel that way 10 years ago.

just one portlander's perception.

go yankees

Last night, for about 5 minutes commencing at around 2:15, there was gunfire over along Prescott or so in the low 20's. I could hear it quite clearly from my place. There were around two dozen shots fired.

Safe, my a*s. Hey, Chief Foxworth, what the heck are you doing (besides calling your babes on your city cell phone)?

Jack - When I lived near Lloyd Center & south Irvington, I had gunshots right outside several times - with no police response. Welcome to the club!

i'm confused- you don't like gunfire? it adds so much spice to life. when i moved in by jefferson high and was shocked by how much gunfire there was in 1996, someone told me - don't worry, they only shoot at people they want to shoot at.

jack, are you on someone's list?

"sally - i disagree with you and seem to remember from posts past that you left portland - so how do you really know how things are?"

I left end of August this year. (Ie, six weeks ago.) When I left in 1995 for a few years, I cried. This time I was thrilled to leave.

My last few days in & around downtown this August I was struck even more by the throngs of lowlifes that have taken downtown, Old Town, the waterfront & Pioneer Square for their homes or playgrounds. At the Italian Fest in the square, one corner was virtually impenetrable and scared or appalled those working the fest.

So I was told.

From what I have read and heard from the police, Jack, shooting is daily -- but you hear about only the ones that hit a target.

I still find property crime to be a more penetrating, wider & destructive problem.

I just walked from the PSU campus to my office at 11th and Morrison via the South Park Blocks. The first few blocks of the Park Blocks were quiet and beautiful with lots of students and a gaggle of pre-schoolers. Over the last two blocks i had to walk what I have begun to think of as "the gauntlet," a large (10+) group of what some of you refer to as lowlifes. After reading the reports of last night's incidents and previous incidents in the last year, I have to come down on the side of I feel less safe. And I mean less safe than I felt 10 years ago downtown when I used to frequent the downtown area much more regularly in my fun 20's.

Now looking at my neighborhood, Brooklyn, it is far safer now than 10 years ago. When I first moved in, gunshots were also a semi-regular occurence in Brooklyn. It has become progressively quieter over the years.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Locations, Spanish Red Wine
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
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Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
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David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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