Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 4, 2007 7:02 AM. The previous post in this blog was I'd like to think of it more as PG-13. The next post in this blog is A plausible explanation. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What's really needed in the graffiti war

The City of Portland's new ordinance requiring that retailers lock up spray paint and record the identification of everyone buying it is a laughable way to fight graffiti. In years past, wiser city leaders grasped well the only real way to combat this urban blight: get everyone in town cleaning it up as soon as it appears. When taggers see their handiwork disappear faster than they can come back and admire it, they quickly find a new place to vandalize. After bouncing around without success, they might decide to take up a more productive habit, like narcotics.

Anyway, if the city really wants to fight graffiti, that's where it needs to focus its efforts -- mobilizing property owners and neighbors to get right on removing tags while the paint's still wet. The city has a crew that runs around cleaning up traffic signs, and a central coordinator who takes in reports and photos of some of the more egregious violations, but together they're spit in the ocean. Average Janes and Joes with cleaning fluid, solvent, buckets, and coverup paints -- they're the only hope of staying ahead of the epidemic. Otherwise, Portland goes the route of San Francisco and New York -- amateur visual garbage on every outdoor surface.

Unfortunately, from my recent unscientific cruises through the inner east side of the Rose City, I can see that the cleanup volunteers are getting tired. Several of the hot spots aren't get cleared of the vandals' work as quickly as they used to. A few property and business owners appear to have given up altogether. The Asian restaurant on the northwest corner of NE 9th and Broadway is a perfect example. The north-facing wall in the rear of that establishment has now been abandoned to the taggers, and of course the graffiti is starting to spread to other nearby walls. There's a similar story going down on 8th. It's a shame.

Now, the city has an ordinance that requires owners to clean up tags on their property within a few days of their being posted, and so there's the stick that theoretically gets the victim to remedy the crime. But how about a carrot or two? What is the city doing to reach out to the public, and help and encourage them with the awful cleanup chores?

What's happened to law enforcement? Do they do anything (other than contemplate their pensions) between 2 and 5 most mornings, when all the tagging seems to get done? It doesn't take a genius to figure out which locations are the taggers' favorites. Would it kill the Police Bureau to invest a little personpower in these locations at the appropriate hours to nab, say, a tagger a month? In these parts, they tend to be a bunch of little snitches, and so a bust or two might actually yield a good handful of spray paint cockroaches in a short time.

And what about security cams at a few of the hot spots? These devices seem to work well when they're writing out huge robo-tickets for running a red light. Put a few at SE 20th and Stark, SE 7th and Schuyler, the I-5 underpasses between the Marquam and the Rose Quarter, and move them around. If they're not too obvious, they'll record lots of tagger sickos in action. What could that cost -- a few thousand?

To ask the city's property owners to deal with graffiti week after week, the city needs to bring something of benefit to the table. It needs to show as much tenacity and stamina in promoting graffiti cleanup as it's asking the neighbors to demonstrate in the never-ending battle. Right now, the city's falling down on the job, and the neighbors are next. For the City Council to bust people's chops when they buy and sell paint is not the answer.

Comments (58)

The politicians KNOW that the new ordinance imposes a terrible burden and is not at all going to be effective in diminishing grafitti.

The ordinance is a public-relations measure for the politicians and a slight revenue raising measure as well as a way to use selective enforcement against small businesses. It is NOT designed to diminish the grafitti problem. Everyone knows that.

How about enforcing the ordinance that requires that it be cleaned up, but have it done by work crews of people who are doing community service as a sentence for some sort of lawbreaking. It seems like a great solution; the victims, with one phone call, get the mess cleaned up, and the community service programs get to serve.

If the victims refuse to avail themselves of the service, and refuse to clean it themselves, fine them. Have the fine increase daily until they comply. If they don't pay the fine, then no business license renewal until it is paid.

Problem solved. See how easy that was? But then again, I don't work for government, so I'm allowed to use my brain and be creative.

Dear Jack,
Thank you!
I hope you can send this to the members of the City Council this am as well.
As a small business owner who happens to currently sell spray paint, all of what you have written makes perfect sense to me.
We too are the vitim of graffiti on an almost weekly basis. We clean up or paint over this stuff all the time. Some sort of help, or even recognition of the clean up efforts, from the city would be welcome any time to every business owner.
What happened to having the convicted taggers work to clean up the taggs?
Let's all work to catch and punish the taggers, not the general public.

Anne Kilkenny
WC Winks' Hardware

Quite a few years back a friend of mine's son was busted for grafitti. He was just a couple weeks past his eighteenth birthday. His father asked that his community service time (200 hrs, as I recall) be dedicated to graffiti clean up, but at that time there was no vehicle for community service time to be spent on any particular task. That was true even if the judge ordered it. His kid spent most of his time cutting weeds and planting flowers.

I recall that a young woman who was attending Reed College, who was convicted for graffiti a few years ago had to do clean up and appologise to the vicitms for her crime.
Am I remembering correctly?

That gal from Reed College was actually on the same comm service crew as my friend's son. She did apologize to the victims, but she was pulling weeds with all the other kids. As I recall, my friend's son never did a single day of graffiti clean up.

Gee, that's too bad. I think that pulling weeds may be a bit easier than graffiti removal. I have done both and personally I find the later a good deal more difficult than the former. But then I am a long way for 20 years old these days.
I really hope that we can get the council to wake up and realize that this latest "effort" is not going to to anything except force the taggers beyond the city limits to buy the paint and it will do virtually nothing to stop this vandalism. It may even increase as they tag the trains to and from the Home Depots and Wal-Marts that ring the city.
I also think that security cameras would help to decrease tagging and catch the taggers. They seem to help in wealthier areas of the city, like the Pearl, where they are used by the property and business owners.

The taggers have already moved on to other forms of graffiti.

If you go to the MAX platform at the Hollywood, you'll see some sort of paint drizzled all over the platform.

What's your next move Mr. Leonard?

Graffiti in Portland, contrary to comments you have made in other posts on this subject, has reached epidemic levels in some parts of Portland (especially lower income areas of outer east Portland).

We have two full time crews that remove and/or cover graffiti all over Portland. We have stings that has caught vandals in the act. Still, the amount of paint spraying of peoples homes, cars and fences along with businesses who not only get "tagged" with traditional spray paint but also often includes acid in the paint that etches the painted area permanently into their window, continues to increase dramatically, according to the stats (and my own observation riding the bus in daily from Lents) kept by the Portland Police Bureau.

Contrary to what you and others have said, I did meet with store owners that sell spray paint over the past weeks including the commenter on this site and the author of the anonymours email you posted on your last post on this subject.

I reminded each of them that the city had a voluntary program since 1998 that encouraged spray paint sellers to store their spray paint in an area secure from being stolen. The hardware store owners have completely ignored the city's repeated requests for the sellers of spray paint to responsibly store the paint in an area that reduces the chance of it being stolen.

Interestingly, the location of the last meeting place, where I met with a number of hardware store owners (including Winks' Hardware), Division Street Hardware, had the spray paint stored right next to and facing the front entrance. A location, I reminded all of the hardware store owners present, that was perfect for a person walking along the sidewalk viewing the spray paint through the large window that need then only open the door, take one step inside, grab the paint and begin tagging peoples cars, homes and businesses. I pointed out to those present that the voluntary program was an abject failure, best represented by where the spray paint was being displayed right where they chose for me to meet them.

One business owner in this meeting volunteered that they all knew the kind of paint that was used almost exclusively for vandalism. He identified the black spray paint that sells for 99 cents a can and is characterized by "running" when used. I immediately remembered hundreds of tags I have seen that were exactly that. He suggested they could just quit selling that kind of paint and all by itself, that would reduce a lot of the graffiti in Portland.

I thought, of course, why didn't these "responsible" retailers do that one, two or three years ago? But then I knew why....because they sell a lot of it and they make a lot of money selling it.

Sorry, Jack. These owners -whose cause you have taken up- have had more than ample opportunity to work with the city and they could not have been clearer about their intent to cooperate than the stocking of spray paint by the front door of Division Street Hardware.

You may think this effort is stupid, but I am pretty sure if a newspapers stand chained to a telephone pole next to your favorite restaurant on NE 24th and Fremont sparked your ire, walking out of your house and seeing every car, fence and house on your street (including your own) tagged with obscene images, words and indecipherable symbols would have motivated you to post a series of pieces the city for not doing what other city's have done to reduce this kind of vandalism.

And, more to the point, what other city's have done successfully is to regulate the sale and storage of spray paint in stores that sell spray paint. In fact, Portland's ordinance is based on similar ordinances in city's around the US from California to New York. This approach has proven effective in every city that has implemented this strategy. And the costs to businesses can be virtually non existent. They need only keep the spray paint in a location that is inaccessible to the public. That means behind the counter, in the store room or any other place the public is not allowed to be. If someone wants a can of paint, they can get a slip of paper and fill it out themselves including the paint they want (much like buying a watch at Costco). The store owner need only keep that piece of paper to comply with the ordinance (a point I have repeatedly told the spray paint spite of what they write here).

I have never said this approach will stop spray paint graffiti. However, the Police Officer in charge of graffiti abatement in Portland testified he has no chance to turn the corner on the graffiti epidemic that is hitting parts of Portland without this ordinance as one of the tools he can use to give him a leg up on the unlimited supply of cheap, easily purchased spray paint.

My reality is that I talk with home owners and businesses all over Portland who are repeatedly tagged within days of removing obscene vandalism from their homes, fences cars and businesses. They remove the graffiti one day, and it is up soon after. Some are so angry, they promise violence if they catch the vandals themselves

We currently do stings and follow up investigations. Still, the problem grows. The spray paint retailers have made it clear they are part of the problem, not interested in being part of the solution. That leaves me in a position to put my head in the sand and pretend, along with you and your commenter's, that everything is hunky-dory and lets not be overly burdensome on the small businesses that sell this stuff.

Sorry, I don't live there anymore.

I would still like to know why you did not work with the Small Business Advisory Council on this ordinance. That's what the council is for.

You also tried to do an end run around the SBAC on "time, place and manner", but they caught on.

On the surface, it seems that you will engage the Small Business Council if you want their support, but you will ignore them if you want to promote a policy that you know will meet with resistance.

My term of service on the SBAC ended before your bio-fuels initiative. Did you even bother to take that one to them?

New York had a similar problem with graffiti when David Dinkins and his friends ran the place.

Thank you Dave Lister...
You said it all.
I will not even dignify Mr. Leonard's reply witrh a response since he only last week simply refused to even consider alternatives proposed by the SBAC and the small family owned hardware stores involved in these discussions.
As of November Winks' Hardware will no longer stock spray paint. It is simply too much of a hassle, as well as an invasive inconvenience to our customers. We will continue to provide the best customer service we can to our patrons, including Mr. Leonard, should he wish to visit our store.

Contrary to what you and others have said, I did meet with store owners that sell spray paint over the past weeks

I never said anything to the contrary.

walking out of your house and seeing every car, fence and house on your street (including your own) tagged with obscene images, words and indecipherable symbols would have motivated you to post a series of pieces the city for not doing what other city's have done to reduce this kind of vandalism.

Perhaps. But I wouldn't start blaming the hardware stores.

I've been blogging about graffiti for years. The city has a pretty good program. But I know b.s. when I smell it.

They need only keep the spray paint in a location that is inaccessible to the public. That means behind the counter, in the store room or any other place the public is not allowed to be.

And that real estate is free?

If someone wants a can of paint, they can get a slip of paper and fill it out themselves including the paint they want (much like buying a watch at Costco). The store owner need only keep that piece of paper to comply with the ordinance (a point I have repeatedly told the spray paint spite of what they write here).

And no one checks anyone's ID?

The Police Officer in charge of graffiti abatement in Portland testified he has no chance to turn the corner on the graffiti epidemic that is hitting parts of Portland without this ordinance

That's pitiful.

Some are so angry, they promise violence if they catch the vandals themselves

That's nice. But entirely beside the point.

Sorry, I don't live there anymore.

You sure don't. Give my love to Opie. You're getting dippier than he is lately.

Any time you're ready, you can address the main point made by the post, which is that the city's not doing enough.

Is it a fair interpretation that, in the world Leonard lives in, the hardware store owners are at least partly at fault for tagging for selling the paint that taggers prefer and have reaped windfall profits from it, and so it's therefore right and proper that they bear the brunt of his remedial measures? Is that what he's saying?

"We currently do stings and follow up investigations. Still, the problem grows"

Randy are you nuts?
No really, ARE YOU NUTS?

Not one word about,Oh, say crime and "punishment"?

Do these vandals get jail time or not. If not why not? And why haven't you checked and voiced this highly important component as well as your respsonse to it?

I don't think polling the readers of this site will adequately rebut Randy's rebuttal, Jack. It's pretty solid, wouldn't you say?

Let's call this lipstick wearing pig what it really is....


From ethanol, to duct tape, to locking up spray paint Randy Leonard is in full on, grab as much press as he can, re-election mode.

These guys don't give a lusty fart for what's good for the community. All they care about is keeping their jobs and keeping their power. They sleep behind their desks for about three years, then, when it's time to think about being on a ballot again, they start pulling any kind of a cockamamie ordinance out of their bodily orfices to get their name in the papers.

The voters, in their ignorance, recognize the name, because there's been so much press, and they fill in the box.

Life's pretty good when you have a fire pension, a ninety plus K position as a city commissioner and, down the road, a PERS pension.

Old Randy might have more regard for folks like Jane Kilkenney if he had, at any time in his life, received a paycheck that wasn't paid for by the taxpayers. Or signed a paycheck, better still.

But he never has, so he just doesn't get it.

It's good to be the king.

Just of the record...
Mr. Leonard states that there has been a "voluntary program since 1998". Well this was the first we have heard of it. I can state that to the best of my knowledge we have never recieved any communication from the city about any program voluntary or otherwise, for graffiti abatement, mentioning anything regarding the locking up or storing spray paint. If missed that, I appologise.
I can say that at Winks' we do have security cameras and other means to try and stop all shoplifing, as well as protecting our customers and patrons.

The batch numbers of spray paint represent over 213,000 cans of paint for each batch!

If the city really wants to administer a program for graffiti abatement, why can't the city issue licenses for the buyers of spray paint. One goes to city hall, has a background check and is issued a license to buy paint. The retailer could sell paint only to those persons with a license, similar to requiring ID for liquor, or certain chemicals like refrigerants.
The responsibility is for the city to enforce the laws to punish the perpetrators, not the citizens.
Get real Mr. Leonard. How are the police officers supposed to track down one person using one can of paint from a batch of more than 213,000?

The basic behavior has to be changed. The taggers have to learn that their actions have serious consequences, i.e. jail time!
Until that happens graffiti will continue no matter where or how the paint is sold.

I live in SE Portland close in. I am so sick and tired of seeing brand new signs defaced over night with scribbles from spray painting wackos. It really make the neighborhood look tacky and costs the City a lot of money (your tax dollars) to replace those signs. (Traffic control signs cannot be cleaned!)

Maybe we should adopt stricter laws such as cutting off the hand that uses the spray paint if caught!

Spraycans don't make graffiti tags; taggers make graffiti tags.

With the spray-paint locked away, my wife and I discovered a new kind of tagging in front of our Southeast Portland house last week.
Some "young creative" drizzled oil-based enamel paint on our sidewalk in the form of some kind of initial-based logo.
It took us an hour to scrub it off of the sidewalk (probably a lot more time than it took them to violate it).

Are permanent markers next? I see more gang tags on mailboxes and bus stops made with permanent markers than with spray paint...

If you outlaw Sharpies, only outlaws will have Sharpies!

Maybe we should adopt stricter laws such as cutting off the hand that uses the spray paint if caught!

C'mon now...thats fodder for that "fascist government" we supposedly already have!

I can tell those who have never had their property "tagged".

Strange how perceptions change with experience.

Until and unless there are sufficient funds allocated for actual legal enforcement, with "time" allocated to offenders to clean up graffito, any ordinance to restrain it will be useless. As I've already pointed out, "slaptags" are already appearing in my southeast Portland neighborhood. Many of the newer "tags" are not spraycan, but permanent mega-point pens.

They gonna lock up all the pens, too?

Public enforcers not doing enough? Tough got your tax break, shut up and enjoy it.

If you want police to assign their resources, including enforcement cameras, then YOU come up with the money to pay for the tools, supplies and officers to run it.

ok, so I want to tag a building with my famous signature line. I go to Lowe's and buy 2 can of my favorite paint. the POS lady want's my ID. should i give her my real one or the one i use to buy my beer?
ok lady, here's my beer ID card. woo hoo i got my paint.
wait, i messed up, i gave her my REAL id.
so i tag the buildings anyway late one night and don't get caught. how are the police gonna catch me? run chemical analysis on the paint? find the brand/batch number, cross ref to the store, investigate all customers who purchased same brand of paint?
are they really gonna spend all this time and effort to TRY and catch me?

What's going to keep taggers from asking someone else to buy their paint for them, Randy?

I still think it's really easy to go outside of Portland to get spray paint and then tag wherever presents the "best available canvas".

The Krylon® Products Group has a comprehensive list of effective anti-graffiti practices listed on their Graffiti Hurts® website:

Form a Task Force
Set Up a Graffiti Hotline
Consider Local Anti-Graffiti Laws
Launch Adopt-a-Spot
Conduct a Local Graffiti Assessment
Keep a Database
Engage At-Risk Youth
Offer Removal Kits
Provide Victim Assistance
Work With Law Enforcement
Practice Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Put Graffiti Vandals "On Notice"
Hold a "Graffiti Summit"
Focus on "Hot Spots"
Work with the Court System

They also talk about the effectiveness of Neighborhood Watch, forming Neighborhood Restoration Teams, spearheading mural projects, Captain Erase coloring books, Graffiti Victim Liason programs, Adopt-a-Block Care Clean-Up partnerships, Community Action Teams and Graffiti Hotlines and more. With so many effective strategies for successfully combatting graffiti, I just don't see how making spray paint more difficult to pruchase could help in any way. In fact, doing so could make the graffiti problem even worse.

I agree with Kevin. Randy's "solution" is myopic at best. Hop a lite-rail "train", pick up a bag of paint at the Beaverton Freddie's, and you're good to go.

If these folks are willing to climb out onto signs overhanging freeways, do you think a free train-ride's going to bother them?

If I remember correctly, that Reed student caught tagging was quoted as saying, in effect, that her "art" trumped other people’s property rights.

Until “graffiti artists” understand property rights and respect the property of others, no stop-gap measures like spray paint ordinances will solve the problem.

Then they should make their property available for all the other artists who might want to graffito it.

I like to apply my tag with a ten-pound maul.

There must be good news hidden in all this. If the police can add to their work load the clearance rate for crimes of rape, and auto theft must have improved.

Can we take that as a positive result Commissioner?

"Somehow the good commissioner's charm..."

Maybe I can take some charm lessons from you.

If there is no consequences for crime, then why not commit it. As long as the "book and release" system stays in place there is no reason to not commit crime in Portland. This is the kind of community that Portland is working for. When you don't want to finance anything but bike lanes then you can all cry in your micro brews. Locking away the spray paint is not going to do a bit of good.

After your lengthy dissertation on the evils of hardware stores and other Portland spray paint providers I have decided that you can't be voted out of office TOO SOON.

Let's tackle just a few of your insane solutions:

QUOTE: "He suggested they could just quit selling that kind of paint and all by itself, that would reduce a lot of the graffiti in Portland."
COMMENT: Taggers might consider a different color scheme.

QUOTE: "In fact, Portland's ordinance is based on similar ordinances in city's around the US from California to New York."
COMMENT: Sounds a lot like the reasoning behind giving huge tax abatements for the Pearl District or South Macadam or the Convention Center or PCD's probable gift of money for a Convention Hotel. "Everyone else is giving away money, why can't we be like them?" But I digress...

QUOTE: "However, the Police Officer in charge of graffiti abatement in Portland testified he has no chance to turn the corner on the graffiti epidemic..
COMMENT: You couldn't give us ANY CONFIDENCE that the city of Portland would have the investigators or enforcement offices to take care of the problem.

Maybe I can take some charm lessons from you.

Wow! This is starting to sound about as grown up as a Portland City Council meeting. Nana nana boo boo to you, too. Why don't you save some of that snot-nosed attitude for your buddies like Homer Williams?

I should have let the grace and style of this lovely screed speak for itself.

Wow, Jack. It must be great to be you.

On a regular basis, you get to make accusations of corruption, name call ("You're getting dippier than he is lately.")all while creating an atmosphere on your blog where commenter's regularly post offensive, horrible and slanderous things about me and other electeds'. Somehow, you then muster up the verve to react with wide eyed indignation if you get even a fraction of what you dish out in return.

I don't know if this is your way of honoring the memory of Andy Kaufman or if you are truly serious.

Either way, you sure are entertaining.

Glad your reading... and your comments, "offensive, horrible and slanderous..." I agree with you completely...

Continuing to give away tax dollars on your pet projects, including the incredible amount of tax dollars for your developer friends is OFFENSIVE.

Asking the citizens of Portland to believe the business community is in full support of your spray paint plan is HORRIBLE.

Questioning our appreciation of Andy Kaufman is truly SLANDEROUS.

"...all while creating an atmosphere on your blog where commenter's regularly post offensive, horrible and slanderous things about me and other electeds'..."

Oh, dear...slanderous! Well, Randy, why don't you just sue, then. I agree with Jack: Take your snotty attitude elsewhere. If you don't like what's being said about you here, then I advise that you cease to visit this site, and try to put it out of your mind, poor little thing.

People here obviously think you're doing a sh*tty job, hence the contempt that they are expressing. Personally, I don't care; I moved away 5 years ago (and took my high income and those tax dollars I would have paid with me), and idiotic policies like those you and your ilk espouse were the reason. I just hate to see you ruining what used to be a nice city with your smarmy "I-know-what's-best-for-you" attitude.

It must be nice to have a cushy job and be completely unaccountable to the people that you are supposed to be serving. So do tell us, how much payola are you taking from your developer friends who are ruining Portland?

What is really entertaining is watching businesses in CoP figure out how to stay in business like Winks. City Council with Randy's assistance "pearlizes" the NW forcing property values up where our historical businesses have to move like Winks. Winks moves to inner SE, now Randy and Council wants to trolley the district, rezone, and "pearlize", then Winks will have to move again, or fold. We have the money for trolleys and trams, but not enforcement.

Add a few more ordinances, don't go after the graffiti offenders, they aren't the problem. Randy, because when you have never been in business, you will never think that each one of those ordinances really cost a dime. Too bad we don't have a Council that ever worked outside of government.

Either way, you sure are entertaining.

I'll hold this post up against this comment any day, and ask the world, Who's the comical blowhard in this picture?

PS: If the cops in Old Town aren't on the take from all the drug traffic that persists there year after year, they're stupider than they are lazy.

Hey Randy,

I have just lost all respect for you. Stop cryin about what is said on this and other blogs, you sound like a poor loser.

This "lock up the paint" ordinance is short sighted and another example of the City of Portland being anti business...unless a person is building a dang condo, then you bend over backwords. Sickening!

Randy is right. This blog is getting way to cynical for my taste too. Let me try the BlueOregon approach.

We wouldn't have a graffiti problem if John Kerry or Al Gore were President.

If Steve Novick beats Gordo, then union membership (strike that, replace with) family wage jobs will be a universal human right and we'll all have free health care. Biofuel is the best way to achieve energy independence, unless corn tortillas are a staple of your diet and you're poor.

We'll ban guns to eliminate murder and ban spray paint to eliminate graffiti.

Retail businesses are flocking to downtown Portland, which is positively thriving. Jackhammer sales have never been higher.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Hmm, I wonder if its a good time to open up a spray paint store in Beaverton, right on Cedar Hills Blvd before the Portland city line....I will call it "Thanks Randy."

ooh! discounts for those under 18 wearing gang attire!



I am asking you, once again, why did you not take your proposal to the Small Business Advisory Council? As I recall, that body was created by a unanimous vote of the city council during a council session you attended. The purpose of that council was to give you guys a small business sounding board prior to proposing legislation that would affect business.

Doesn't it occur to you that their input would have been valuable on this matter?

It's very entertaining to watch you trade barbs with Jack and others on this blog, but I think my question is deserving of an answer.


As a taxpayer I insist you spend your time doing something other than posting to blogs. After all, what’s the point? The majority of people who have found a home here think you are living in a mansion supplied by evil developers and dedicate your life to destroying Portland. It’s nutty but there it is. The reality that this plan is the same as hundreds of other towns in the US, and may even help a little bit without being more than a miniscule annoyance, will never change their minds.

Actually, Sherwood, I have been trying to get banned on Jack's site for some time.

However, I think your advice is a better strategy. Thanks.

Two thirds of our readers agree that the ordinance is bunk.

Holding New York City up as a model for an anti-graffiti program is a joke. If I were saying stuff like that, I'd shut up too.

Okay Randy. You have chosen to ignore my question about your failure to consult the SBAC twice now in this thread. In the absence of giving your answer, I am going to give my own answer.

You are playing politics.

I have it on pretty good authority that Tom Potter's office has been working on the graffiti issue from the enforcement approach. That's the approach that is preferred by Jane Kilkenney and all those who agree with her, including Jack Bog.

You rushed your poorly crafted ordinance in order to beat Potter to grab the headlines and the media attention.

All of use city hall observers can see that you are doing everything you can to make the Mayor's life miserable right now. He wanted a postponement on this ordinance and you wouldn't give him a break. You slam dunked it through on a 3-0 vote when Potter and Saltzman were absent.

I can only speculate, but it's beginning to look like you have a little side deal going with Sam Adams to discourage Potter from running again.

Ooops... typo. Make that "all of us city hall observers".

The reality that this plan is the same as hundreds of other towns in the US, and may even help a little bit without being more than a miniscule annoyance...

Reality? Let's see: "...hundreds of other towns..."?, "...miniscule annoyance..."?

I guess if one suspends disbelief, one can accept these statements. That just leaves us with "...may even help a little bit..." - now there's a solid foundation for effective government.

All of youse apologists for the " least we can say we did something - even is it doesn't work..." school of political science, er... comedy, can hang your hats (and fire helmets, if they make them big enough) on this one.

If that's the best you've got...

Sherwood, that sure is progressive thinking: pass ordinances, as many as you can think of, if they "may even help a little bit". Great criteria. And then not having standards to measure their effectiveness is even worse.

Rr and Lee,

I take it you believe that the evil doers in Portland government have not bothered to research this issue or check the results in other towns. Incidentally, in my travels (which are way too often and I intend to stop) I can’t remember the last time I saw spray paint openly displayed. It’s a bit like seeing smoking in bars – a quirky Portland thing. I also take it you have studied the results from these other towns, crunched the numbers, and come to a reasoned conclusion. Just on the off chance that you haven’t done that, and instead are just harping on because Randy and others support it, please do the world a favor and shut up.

I remain as always….

Ok, [meep] I often hesitate to pull out both barrels, but I can't stand it (dramatic John Wayne pose)-- I agree that doing something, anything to combat grafitti (which I also hesitate to spelllll) is a step in the right direction.

I have submitted 35+ reports to ONI this past year of graffiti on my street. I took pictures, filled out forms, volunteered to cover it up or by god tackle the n'er do wells.

I do not mind filling out a form when I buy spray paint. And I do see a huge increase of Sharpee graffiti--so I'll sign that too. Maybe it's a sign of -- I hate to say desperation -- but the City can't combat it alone, my neighborhood is totally un-organized and ill-equpped to legally confront it, and "community solutions" are a bit of a dream, eh? There are not enough beds in jail nor "re-direction" programs for youth.

So, try anything, I say.

And meanwhile, here I sit in my rocking chair on the front porch. with my water spray bottle. G'head and try it, mate!

Glad I moved away....

Lie-nads (Leonard):

When your fire joint cronies bankrupt the city budget (when they aren't beating up people) there won't be any cash to enforce this dumb law.

So Randy (fireman Randy sounds like a bad porn movie)what will you do when stores in Tigard, Beaverton & Hillsboro sell low priced paint to people w/Portland IDs?

Oh I forgot your'a Portland commish which means you'll do nothing.

nothing that means crap anyway.

Must hurt to mean so little.

A preemptory retort to any insult you throw my way:

"I have been called worse things by better people."

I can’t remember the last time I saw spray paint openly displayed

I'm not surprised. always

Time for Lister to eat some crow.

I have it on better authority than I believed previously that Mayor Potter's office was NOT working on a graf enforcement program.

I'm not convinced that restricting spray paint sales is the right thing, but I have to retract what I said about Comm. Leonard playing politics with the Mayor's office.

"I can see that the cleanup volunteers are getting tired."

That's very true. I am getting tired of it and have let it slip lately. I don't think locking up spray paint is necessarily a good or bad idea, but here are a couple ideas that I think would help my little corner of Portland:
1) Please ask Marcia Dennis to give me some of that green paint for the signal boxes. Currently, the city contracts with a company called "Goodbye Graffiti" to paint over tags on the signal boxes, so I'm essentially not really allowed to repaint them. Goodbye Graffiti doesn't come regularly enough, of course, so by the end of the month the boxes on Hawthorne are completely covered. I could call in every time they are tagged, but it's just easier to repaint them myself--otherwise I'd be filling out that online form daily.
2) Please bring back the old Tri-Met Adopt-A-Stop program. I miss getting those 30 free All-Zone tickets per quarter, and it was great incentive to keep my stop sparkling clean. I believe that was terminated because people were just taking the tickets and not cleaning their adopted stop, so we'd have to set up a way for citizens to report a neglected stop or something.
3) When a tagger gets caught, make it widely known what his tag is. Then, invite the public to scour the city for his tags. As I understand it, the severity of the punishment increases proportionately to the number of tags he or she is responsible for (I could be wrong about this--please advise). I can get you a dozen "MEKROE" tags by two o'clock this afternoon. With nail polish. If accomplishing nothing else, at least said tagger might spend the next couple weeks cleaning up his own vandalism.

The name-calling in the comments seems a little silly on both sides. I'm sure we can work together to find a creative solution to this problem. I've been cleaning up graffiti for almost 8 years now in the Hawthorne/Belmont area, and sincerely hope I don't get in too much trouble when I finally catch someone in the act and hit them over the head with a lawn chair and/or leaf blower.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
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
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
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
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

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
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
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
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run 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

Clicky Web Analytics