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Friday, August 18, 2006

The livable (bang bang) city

The bullets are flying again at Lloyd Center.

Comments (1)

You'd be upset if you got shut out of the snake movie too.

Posted by: Chris Snethen at August 18, 2006 09:02 AM

Lets not jump to any conclusions as they explained they "aren't sure whether this had to do with a long standing problem, or was something more recent."

I guess only those who are "Sensitive to the Issue" can appreciate the value of that.

Yes, we all know that many want to claim it was yet another Gang Shooting Problem at the Lloyd.

So let us wait and see what kind of shooting it was before we falsely label an Issue as a Problem.

Posted by: Abe at August 18, 2006 09:16 AM

living in a city where someone getting shot in the ankle makes the news shows its pretty damn safe.

Posted by: rodney at August 18, 2006 09:26 AM

There was another shooting in the park in the back of the mall recently as well.

There was a time when you'd see a lot of cops in the area for a week or so after something like this happened. Nowadays it doesn't seem like Portland has any cops to send.

Go by streetcar!

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 18, 2006 09:46 AM

So let us wait and see what kind of shooting it was before we falsely label an Issue as a Problem.

Huh? We've got an entire generation of kids out there acting as though the planet was their own personal version of Grand Theft Auto. It's on the freeway, it's walking Cops pull people over DAILY with guns under their seats or in their waistbands or in a pillowcase on a freaking plane. But because they're only shooting each other once in a while or racing through downtown in the middle of the night or racing one another at 100 mph east of 82nd or down I-5 through North Portland, there's no problem. Or maybe there is, but we need to wait until all the evidence is in.

We're up to our necks in evidence. It's time to start fixing the problem.

Posted by: Chris Snethen at August 18, 2006 10:03 AM

It's time to start fixing the problem.

Im sure the mayor will start a "committee" right away to check into this. He'll need some more tax dollars though. Or better yet, maybe we can get the governor to create a website...

Posted by: Jon at August 18, 2006 10:11 AM

"time to start fixing the problem"

Sounds like politician-speak to me. As if sweeping statements can make non-premeditated crimes just go away. This...shit...happens. There's only so much the cops can do about it, even if they have plenty of cops on call to respond.

Every Portland transplant I know laughs at the suggestion that this town has a crime problem... you can evoke Grand Theft Auto all you want, but violent crime has gone down in recent years. It just smacks of talk-radio hysteria over nothing.

Posted by: TKrueg at August 18, 2006 10:50 AM

Sure. No gang problem in Portland. No handgun problem, either.

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 18, 2006 11:23 AM


As long as it happens away from The Pearl or SoWhat, then we can just chalk it up to "what are you gonna do?" These creeps know there are no cops and no jail beds so it's open season. Maybe if we tore down Lloyd Center and put up some high rise apartments, these guys would all put down their guns and live in peace. It worked in the 70s.

Every Portland transplant I know laughs at the suggestion that this town has a crime problem.

An attitude that itself is part of the problem. A mall shooting might be a minor incident in Marin County, but this ain't Marin County. The transplants may be willing to put up with this (again, so long as one is packing heat at Bridgeport Village), but the locals shouldn't have to.

Posted by: Chris Snethen at August 18, 2006 11:30 AM

Crime or not, the Lloyd Center is even more my daughter and my favorite mall, since their makeover. Lots of comfortable chairs, tables set up for workstations, and a blessed lack of pretentiousness make it a great place to escape for air conditioning on hot summer days.

Posted by: Amanda Fritz at August 18, 2006 12:19 PM

"So let us wait and see what kind of shooting it was before we falsely label an Issue as a Problem."

Any time a person thinks shooting someone else is the way to resolve an argument...that's a problem. And it seems to be more and more of a problem, everywhere.

Posted by: Sadie at August 18, 2006 12:32 PM

We need different ways to diffuse disputes between today's youthful rabblerousers.

We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days.

So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. "Give me five bees for a quarter," you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

Posted by: Anahit at August 18, 2006 03:06 PM

We used to say dickity because the Kaiser had stolen our word for twenty.

Posted by: Dave J. at August 18, 2006 03:08 PM

I invoked the views of Portland transplants because it provides some stark perspective for those of us who grew up here. On that note, it's worth mentioning that Portland is safer now than when I was growing up...

You said "and it seems to be more of a problem, everywhere".
Based on what? Other generic, sweeping statements?

Has any major city succeeded in eliminating violent crime? Should we be cynical about the state of Portland because we haven't discovered the 'magic pill'? This is wasted breath on wasted rhetoric for an issue that will never go away. Violent crime has dropped... why should the issue be escalated?

Posted by: TKrueg at August 18, 2006 03:12 PM

Amanda must be made of sterner stuff than I, because the last time I went to Lloyd Center I feared for the safety of my person and my car. I got the hell out as fast as I could.

Posted by: Hinckley at August 18, 2006 03:16 PM

Isn't it funny that Portlanders perceive Portland to be a safe city, but non-Portlanders see it as a crime-ridden den of sin?

Me? I feel infinitely safer walking around at night in SE or NE than I do in most parts of Beaverton, Gresham or other burbs. While more people equates to more crime, it also means there are more witnesses or neighbors to prevent crime. Why would I be afraid of being mugged when there are other people out and about? Who's gonna hear you scream if the next house is 40yds away? And yet the myth of the safe suburb persists...

Posted by: TKrueg at August 18, 2006 05:22 PM

If you honestly find Lloyd Center scary, you must not get out much.

Posted by: libertas at August 18, 2006 06:39 PM

I frankly don't mind petty live-in-the-city crime, but when you see gang tagging and shootings, I believe it's time for more aggressive treatment of the problem. That means more community policing to me, not necessarily more police aggressiveness, btw.

You don't wait for the problem to take firm hold. You get some Roundup (tm) on those buds before they go to seed.

I live at Killingsworth and Vancouver. I'm (as noted) from Jersey. I walk my neighborhood whenever without fear. It's not a den of sin. I love my area. But we have seen a pretty "active" summer. Even having the entire police force at the low-rider show didn't stop a spate of shootings at MLK and Jarrett that fortunately all missed. Who gave the permit for that, given its history, anyway? And did the producers have to pay for the increased police presence?

Lloyd center scary? Dude. For real?

But gangs are trying to take hold. See, New Columbia, e.g. That can't happen. Can't. Whatever streetcar money needs to go to the police to help with gang outreach or whatever the hell they call it, so be it. Sam's Tram Scam cash? Fine. Portland ain't Marin County, and it shouldn't be allowed to become Marin County.

Posted by: Don Smith at August 18, 2006 07:54 PM

Looks like the big O has changed the article linked above as 'Lloyd Center' to one about forest fires in the Cascades.

Posted by: Bill at August 19, 2006 07:49 AM

" also means there are more witnesses or neighbors to prevent crime. Why would I be afraid of being mugged when there are other people out and about?"

Statistically you're probably right, but I think Kitty Genovese's next of kin would disagree with the idea that the close proximity of others will prevent a violent crime. Let's just never lose our sense of outrage. That could lead to things like cutting back personnel assigned to the gang enforcement teams.

Posted by: Ronald M at August 19, 2006 09:22 AM

I agree with Amanda, I used to take the LR over there all the time to shop instead of going to Pioneer place which was just a block from my office.

It was much more "real" and I felt more comfortable shopping there. I still love the ice rink, and to linger there with my latte and watch people of all ages and talent levels play around on the ice.

Posted by: Swimmer at August 19, 2006 09:56 AM

Looks like the big O has changed the article linked above as 'Lloyd Center' to one about forest fires in the Cascades.

All part of the charm of OregonLive. I've pulled that link. Thanks for the heads-up.

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 19, 2006 11:14 AM

Kitty Genovese? Why not bring out Jack the Ripper, too?

I'm sorry—that's excessively snotty. I don't disagree with your point, but we're dangerously close to relying on cliche here.

Posted by: libertas at August 19, 2006 11:37 AM

If you want some real scary times go East to Gresham, West to Hillsboro and South to Woodburn/Salem.

As compared Portland is a walk in the park.

But never fear as the fun is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Oh yes, don't forget to Press #2 for English.

Posted by: Abe at August 19, 2006 03:34 PM

Whoa, Abe... barber shave a little too much off the top?

Posted by: TKrueg at August 19, 2006 05:43 PM

"...that's excessively snotty." For using the classic example of callous, urban indifference to crime? That's an interesting choice of words.

Kitty Genovese (very much unlike Jack the Ripper's victims) was murdered in a very public way, surrounded by dozens of people in nearby buildings who heard her cries for help yet did nothing.

They didn't want to get involved - weren't outraged enough to do anything let alone call the cops while the murder went on for several minutes. Life in the big city.

Whether the shooting at LC was individual in nature or gang-related, my point is that we all should be just a little outraged that Portland's leadership apparently places a relatively low value on a program that helps kids resist the gang life while protecting the general public.

Posted by: Ronald M at August 19, 2006 06:06 PM

It's a shame when anyone is shot, for sure, but I'm originally from D.C. -- the town where the NBA team were formerly the Bullets, for God's sake -- and I have to say that Portland is one of the most comfortable, safe cities I've ever had the fortune to live in.

That said, I wish we could do something about the proliferation of "I'm homeless and pregnant" kids around Pioneer Square who don't show the slightest baby bump. But maybe that's just me being a bit touchy after getting asked for cigarettes by said kids.

Posted by: Lawbot at August 19, 2006 06:26 PM

the town where the NBA team were formerly the Bullets, for God's sake

That name was inherited from Baltimore, where the team originated. And yes, it's even more appropriate for Baltimore.

Portland's relatively safe, but (1) not as safe as it first appears, (2) not as safe at it used to be, and (3) capable of being much safer. If we cared about public safety instead of toys, that is.

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 19, 2006 10:42 PM

"[N]ot as safe as it used to be..."? I'd be interested in the basis of this claim. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics ( ), Portland's remarkably safer than it was 20 years ago.

The BJS data examines Portland crime from 1985-2004 and shows individual crime rates per 100k people in a variety of categories, including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and car prowls. Nasty person crimes are aggregated into a Violent Crime Rate and property crimes are aggregated into a Property Crime Rate.

The declining relative frequency of Portland's crime is nothing short of astonishing. Check it out yourself.

The Violent Crime Rate plummeted from 2349 incidents per 100k people in 1985 to 742 in 2004. Property Crime plunged from 14588 in 1985 to 7630 in 2004. Every individual crime category fell by well over half during 1985-2004 with the exceptions of larceny, which fell 42%, and car prowls, which increased 19%.

I'm not saying numbers are perfect. Heck, I can think of a few problems with them but nothing that comes near negating the glaring downward trend.

Portland may feel more dangerous than it used to but the numbers don't validate the feeling. They do quite the opposite. Consequently, the claim appears more truthy than truthful. I'd say it smacked of "truthiness" but the word's creator said it's copyrighted and he would want a royalty.

Posted by: Anahit at August 20, 2006 09:56 PM

"This is wasted breath on wasted rhetoric for an issue that will never go away. Violent crime has dropped... why should the issue be escalated?"

Once again, this happens in a city that thinks it is a higher priority to extend light rail everywhere rather than spend anything on more jail space.

The spending priorities in this town are screwed up, we can find all kinds of money to build amusement park rides (the tram) and trolleys, but the county jail is built and can't open because of lack of money or we let more petty criminals go because of no jail space.

Sorry, if this sort of thing is not a problem to you, but be considerate of other's concerns. You should be able to discern a shooting at a shopping mall with a lot of people is a little different than some petty drug heist.

Posted by: Steve at August 21, 2006 07:33 AM

"Sure. No gang problem in Portland. No handgun problem, either."

Hard to get a feel for your intentions with the handgun comment but I really hope you're not blaming this problem on inanimate objects =)

Posted by: Joey Link at August 27, 2006 02:46 AM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]


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