This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 16, 2005 11:59 PM. The previous post in this blog was Rejected. The next post in this blog is Erin Go Bragh. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Give those meth heads streetcar passes!

Interesting story on KGW-TV news tonight (not on its website, at least not yet) about a recent upsurge in auto thefts in downtown Portland. It seems they're up 95 percent over a comparable recent period.

The center of the car theft spree? The area outside City Hall! And the most popular times to steal Camrys and Accords from in front of the million-dollar solar parking robots down there? Broad daylight!

There was actually a police spokesman in the story. Interviewed on camera, he said something really profound like, "It's too bad things like this have to happen."

Wish we had property tax money for more police officers in this town. But sorry, we've got more important things to do.

Just ask Commissioner "Tram" Adams. He's working with Mayor Homer Williams on the crucial stuff.

Comments (11)

To paraphrase a popular bumpersticker:

Kick Homer's theiving butt out of Portland

Almost the favorite part of my stolen-&-totaled-car story (Oct. 2003, Sullivan's Gulch): you can't even get your own copy of the police report for the theft free. Have to pay for it, even as the "victim."

Who makes these laws? The same people overseeing a community with rampant meth use and huge amounts of largely unchecked property crimes?

The cops came that close to catching the regular offender who did mine. They dropped it at the last moment ... I was told because the jails are full, the DAs can't prosecute, the courts can't sentence.

To say "hugely disillusioning" is an understatement.

Sigh... This kind of distortion of the issues is in vogue nowadays. The tram isn't the cause of the meth problem, and spending more money on police is not the solution.

You should see the inside of the downtown jail. It is half jail, half nuthouse. It's like the stories you hear of the old Oregon Sanitarium or whatever where they castrated people and performed lobotomies. Nobody has ever been reformed there. Sane inmates just make better connections during their short stay. The staff get paid to stay all day every day in the same crazy jail, which makes them crazy and angry. They spend lots of time literally poking around inmates' body cavities. Seriously.

Police intervention very rarely stops meth use, or meth crime. There is no socially-palatable solution to drug crime, because the only way to stop it is to make it so that people can get free drugs. The connection between the tram and the meth crime is remote.

No, it's really not that remote. We are wasting tens of millions on some things we don't need, and refusing to spend a million or two on some important things we do need. Like more police presence downtown.

Broad-daylight car theft in the downtown core can be solved rather easily and cheaply. If you have any common sense.

Iíll give you this much Jack, the Tram is self serving and the trolley needs to run in other parts of town down other than the water front or out to LO. So other than making downtown into a police state or augmenting I5 into 8-10 lanes how would you like the money to be spent? Should there be more police yes, will the time come when us libs will have to bite the bullet and hack off some of the social programs unfortunately yes. But the time will come as it has in other nations that the price of gas will be at $3 maybe $4 or higher a gallon. Granted the placement of the trolley could have been better, but think of the big picture at least p-town is forward thinking enough to say we are going to need public transportation look at Houston for example their solution is to make more freeways (no pun intended there). This is not conspiracy theory 105 and the earth is round, we need to make a change and think outside the box. If your line of thinking is like Lars in saying that there needs to be more lanes on our highways then you might as will say the gas will never run out and will always be there? Again I donít like were the trolley is at now and hopefully that will change, but do we need it, you bet your ass we do. Because we canít rely on the automotive industry to provide us with better fuel-efficient vehicles at this time and that curve is still way out there when they start to make a difference in our habits. The city of Portland has provided us with some alternate transportation means, is it perfect not close yet. But at least it is a step in the correct direction. Lets rattle some gages in the city of Portland and streamline the Trolley and Max so we can get people out of their vehicles.

"Police intervention very rarely stops meth use, or meth crime. There is no socially-palatable solution to drug crime, because the only way to stop it is to make it so that people can get free drugs. The connection between the tram and the meth crime is remote."

I'm not interested in the connection between the tram and meth crime. I am interested in the connection between meth and property crime. Someone (serious) floated a proposal recently to dispense these drugs through the medical system as we do others. Radical? You bet. I wonder if people understood the choices and costs better that they are now paying whether they look more seriously at even radical alternatives.

How many of the people in the justice system are there for drug crimes? I mean, JUST drug crimes. Not property crimes AND drug crimes, not violent crimes AND drug crimes. Just drug crimes.

What would happen if you stopped prosecuting drug crimes, and focused on property and violent crimes? Call me naive, but I'm thinking if cops aren't spending time on drug crimes, they can spend their time on violent and property crimes, and that those crimes will go down. Further, if druggies no longer fear the police for the sake of drugs, they don't have to take the risky behavior that goes with being in a black market. Less property and violent crimes from the drug community results.

We had our noses rubbed in the nasty side effects of alcohol Prohibition 80 years ago. Why can't we see the same nasty side effects are happening right now because of the other prohibitions we've imposed?

I don't believe anyone is advocating turning downtown into a police state. But we have a *major* problem downtown with crime and more mass transit isn't going to solve it. As this continues unchecked, it's only going to get worse. Phil Stanford spoke in his column a few issues back about a daylight mugging on the bus mall in which the cops just shooed the perpetrator away. You add that to reports of auto thefts in broad daylight and break-ins inside downtown parking garages, and there won't be much need for alternative transportation downtown, because there won't be one.

In the short term though, just do what I do. Park in the Pearl. I've logged well in excess of ten hours of free parking around Jamison Square on Saturday afternoons. More than enough time to race trains and grab a bubble tea. And the meth element (at least for now) is smart enough to stay south of Burnside and east of Broadway. Maybe once they pierce The Pearl, "Tram" and the boys will begin to take notice.

With the current cops effectively engaged in a work slowdown, in protest of limited jail space, lack of a plan to deal with the current situation, or just bad attitudes, the only thing that hiring any more of these guys will accomplish is to push up donut sales.

Oh hey yaa ya. This is wonderful: the current crime epidemic has nothing to do with the fact that our so-called "leaders" pee away millions of dollars on toys when that money could be used to open and staff that brand-spankin' new jail we have. Give me a break!

And then some others have the audacity to suggest that the problem isn't drugs, it's that the drugs are illegal. Well hey, pardner - move to British Columbia! Their government, having given up completely on the crime problems, recently resolved to give away free heroin, three times a day. That was in the news a week or so ago.

In today's news, they're sleeping better in Quebec tonight because the Supreme Court - the freakin' Supreme Court! - has ruled that margarine must remain white and cannot be sold in yellow form.

Plan on seeing that same edict in Portland fairly soon....

Side note:

The violent crime rate in Canada is half that of the United States.

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