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 November 4, 2007 11:04 AM. The previous post in this blog was Keeping us safe from Rustoleum. The next post in this blog is Birds of a feather. 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

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Much ado about nothing

Despite all the hubbub about the City of Portland's new ordinance about sitting and lying on the sidewalks, not much has changed, at least according to a reader who writes:

I wish you could draw attention to the continuing problem of people (mostly young, rough looking people) sitting on sidewalks downtown. I was down there recently with my parents visiting from Florida. They couldn't believe the number of panhandlers, people pushing around shopping carts and groups of young people sitting on the sidewalk. We noticed a group of several young people and a dog sitting right in front of the new Macy's. Then we saw a group sitting in front of Rite Aid (a place I always see people sitting). The next day, we saw more kids squatting in front of the Rite Aid.

I sent an email to the mayor's office and the police. No response from the police, but to their credit, I did get a quick response from the mayor's office. Unfortunately, it was unsatisfactory. I asked why the new sidewalk ordnance is not being enforced, and the mayor's aide said enforcement is a relatively low priority, despite all the hullabaloo about the new ordnance and all the money spent on new benches, so that people wouldn't have to sit on the sidewalk.

I've travelled to many cities around the world and I've never seen anything like what we have in Portland. I always hear that SF and Seattle are worse, but it's pretty bad here in Portland.

No input from me on this one. I pretty much steer clear of downtown these days.

Comments (28)

As with so many discussions on this topic, there is no mention of an actual problem in this email, despite the opening sentence.

"Rough" looking people sitting around? Yes. Potential disregard of a constitutionally questionable law? Yes.

Actual interference with someone's ability to do something, e.g. go into Rite aid or walk around downtown? No.

if they dont bother anyone, who really cares. there are much larger problems to deal with in this city.

I think the problem appears to be a case of bourgeoisie disease.

This is consistent with what we've seen - the ordnance is just another hypocritical joke by the city administration. Aside from the Monday-Friday trek to work and back we've stopped going into downtown.

I quit going Downtown over 20 years ago. It has Changed my outlook on life a great Deal. I think it was The Kind rough looking Guy who Stepped into the Crosswalk and Urinated on My car. He Did not do that again For a While as I raised a lump on the side of his head With My Fist.Problem Solved

I just don't go downtown much anymore, especially if I have visitors in town because it is embarrasing. Once again the city is looking out for everyone but the actual taxpayers.

It would be nice if Randy spent more time walking around downtown seeing how the street people interact with the taxpayers. I always see some of Tom's finest sleeping on the steps of the First Baptist Church on Taylor. Really enjoy the stale urine odor that the Church is always trying to wash down. Randy's feeble attempt at making the news worked. The entire City Council needs adult and fiscal supervision!

I agree 110% with the comment posted by Luke above. As a defendant in the landmark case that got the original sit-lie ordinance thrown out as unconstitutional, I also believe that this law is all about protecting the sensibilities of middle and upper class shoppers. (A PDF copy of Judge Litzenberger's opinion is available at the link below.)

My participation in the constitutional challenge of the original sit-lie rule was a political statement, not a result of homelessness. But I am aware enough of the old maxim "there, but for the grace of God, go I".

I predict that if the police and police look-alikes downtown start enforcing the new version of the rule, it will be thrown out as well (if challenged) because it doesn't pass the sniff test constitutionally. In fact, I believe it stinks worse than the first one.

The much-hyped benches downtown are no salve for rampant poverty, a shitty job market, lack of resources and the common ill of having no other place to go.

The sidewalk is a public space. If people want to sit there, and they are not bothering anyone or obstructing pedestrians - who cares? If you don't like panhandlers - ignore them, they'll beg from someone else. If you're offended by the existence of other human beings - stay home.

Public toilets (I mean, beyond the ones in City Hall) should help. Beyond that, I'm reassured that some of those posting here are choosing to stay away from town.

I go downtown and take out of town visitors there all the time and we always have a good time. I guess some people just really hate to have to see anyone other than people that look exactly like they do.

Yes, anyone who dislikes stepping in human feces, smelling urine on every block, or being harassed by overzealous panhandlers is just a bigot.

"Stepping in human feces, smelling urine on every block"?

Man, I have no idea where the people who say things like this hang out downtown, but I work there every weekday and frequently make my way there on the weekends, and I can't remember the last time I saw or smelled feces or urine on the street.

(1) Find parking garage. (2) Walk near any stairwell. (3) Inhale deeply.

That ain't Chanel No. 5.

Not to steal from SNL but "stepping in human feces and smelling urine on every block" -- really???? Really??? A bit of hyperbolic rhetoric, maybe? There are problems downtown, I know. I spend every day down there, but I think that is a misleading description.

"stepping in human feces and smelling urine on every block"

No, you see? Now you're misquoting the comment. There was a comma in there that you conveniently left out.

Is says, The urine is on every block. And that's not far from the truth.



The feces, maybe you only catch in a few places.

I don't smell it. You must have the nose of a beagle.

Maybe you're right. I've smelled enough homeless pee down there to last the rest of my lifetime, and so as I say in the post, I stay out of downtown Portland.

I'd say "your loss" but that's not entirely true. If others are reading your blog and wondering about the downtown of Portland, let's just say that I hope I offer them another opinion of what it looks and smells like. But, again, there are aggressive panhandlers.

"I don't smell it. You must have the nose of a beagle."

try any parking garage within a couple of blocks of pioneer square...especially pungent on summer nights...

ironic that your banner is a downtown building...

you know it's too bad older folks are abandoning downtown. however i understand that different people can be scary.

but don't fret, we'll temporarily clean them out for you before the rose parade starts in june.

Thanks, sonny. But we're not afraid, just disgusted.

And hey, please leave room for cream. Thanks.

I watched a guy s**t on the sidewalk in broad daylight about 15 feet away from the BofA ATM on 5th Street about three years ago.

And the elevator in our parking garage reeks of urine a couple of days of week (until they mop it out).

I guess they got tired of p**sing on stairwells. I would prefer to work on Kruse Way, but our office is full there.

Bad job market? Only for those kick-back jobs that pay big bucks. If you want to work there is no problem with the job market.

The DJC said last week:

"It's the construction industry's biggest problem... Young workers don't want to work hard, sacrifice and just plain get their hands dirty - the essentials of a construction career..."

Yeah, it's a workers paradise out there. There's plenty of $7 wage slavery jobs for kids with no high school degree. Just grab your choice of Plaid Pantry clerk positions, find 6 friends in a similar situation and rent a dump in Gresham together.

As a regular denizen of downtown PDX (and a homeless PSU student for the last 2 months), I've gotta say, the pee-smelling blocks are pretty normal. I've been witness to a number of occassions when standing at a bus stop, someone just opens up his fly and takes a leak right there on the street. It happens, even if you can't smell it.

I've never had to step over human feces (thankfully..) but I do know personally of two angry downtown workers who've had to hose off their doors before of bum-s**t.

Walking downtown these days is really sad. So many empty store fronts line up with 'For Lease' signs, dogs and shopping carts and dirty sleeping bags are a normal sight on many blocks, and meanwhile another cupcake shop opens up in the Pearl.

The sit-lie ordinance doesn't do anything to help; it just attempts to shovel the problem off in another direction. What we need are more long term solutions, less condos going up where there should be affordable apartments, and more living-wage jobs.

"...more living-wage jobs."

It's interesting how folks from south of the border come up here in droves for much less than living-wage jobs. And they still have enough money to send to their families.

If you want to, you can work 80 hours a week in this state. You just have to want to work -- something alien to the dregs littering our streets.

I'm guessing that the ordinance is really intended for law enforcement to sort of carry in their back pocket in case they need it; that is, in case they need to roust somebody but can't really hang anything else on them. I can't really see officers taking it as a prime directive to keep the shifty and shiftless ever moving day and night. That's what the MAX trains are for.


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