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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Portland gangster hit in broad daylight

Vera Katz's boy is as incompetent as she was when it comes to dealing with this sort of stuff.

Comments (43)

His solution will probably involve running a streetcar on that street.

I have been against Sam since day 1, but I don't see how this has anything to do with him. This type of thing happens no matter who is in office. Portland is a very safe place to live. C'mon Jack, you know this. Compare crime in Portland to crime in Newark or Detroit? I can name dozens of cities that are worse than Portland when it comes to crime. We average somewhere in the range of 20 -30 murders a year, and very few are gang related anymore. Very low numbers for a city of our size. If this were 1987 when there were 70 murders in Portland, I may place a little more pressure on the mayor. Even then, not much a mayor could do. Gangs and the crack epidemic were heating up. Anyway,
I live a few blocks from here, and I'm really not concerned. **** happens. It's a reality of the society we live in. I feel much safer here than when I lived in North Philadelphia.

I think that actually is in the portland streetcar plan. Ridiculous.

I feel much safer here than when I lived in North Philadelphia.

Thanks for sharing your standard of livability. It speaks volumes.

Even then, not much a mayor could do.

Wrong. So wrong.

Even then, not much a mayor could do.

Wrong. So wrong.

So what should a Mayor do? Pull a Giuliani, maybe ban handguns like they did in D.C., step up patrols on the streets? At least give me something.

Set aside some time and watch "The Wire".

I almost mentioned that in my first response. I've seen them all many times.

If there were a Brooks Brothers across the street from that store then the mayor would know what to do.

A few years ago I tried to suggest to Adams that we need to improve the opportunites for those living in that neighborhood to get jobs.

Just to the north, about five miles away, is the Rivergate Industrial Park which is home to a number of companies. There is, however, little or no transportation services between the two areas. As I recall there are only three buses in the morning and three in the afternoon.

Trimet has no interest in improving the service so I suggested that we needed to open the market.

Now Sam or any one of a number of politicians could either work to open the market, or hammer on Triment to improve its service.

The Max line to the airport is a waste of money so why not close it and improve the bus services elsewhere and that includes the connections between North Portland and the Rivergate Industrial Park?

It would be interesting to see how much the companies in the Rivergate area pay in taxes to Trimet and what they get in services.

But keeping people poor insures that crime will be there and thus jobs for those in the police, legal, judicial, and prison industries.

What a waste!

I agree M.W. Tri-Met is going down the tube.... Still, the Mayor can't do much there either. Tri-Met is being run into the ground by a bunch of dummies who we didn't elect. It's all about rail now. Don't mind your bus service going to the dogs. Makes me sick.

"But keeping people poor insures that crime will be there and thus jobs for those in the police, legal, judicial, and prison industries"

Yes. And eeping people poor and uneducated permits good olds to reign on and on. Oregon doesn't emphasize education, because "insiders" don't want the masses to catch on. When populist leaders do arise, watch out!

I am sure the PDX is safer than Baghdad, but whats the point. All long as there is any violent crime at all, there is something that needs to be done and should be done.

Oregon doesn't emphasize education

Same could be said for the people who most need it.

Compare crime in Portland to crime in Newark or Detroit?

Uh, yeah, but what about when you compare crime in Portland to Amsterdam or Vancouver, our supposed idols?

Shouldn't this fall to the Police Chief first? In 14 responses I don't see Rosie's name so far. Of course, when you close precincts left and right can you expect things to improve?

Jack, let's not keep it a secret. What do you recommend that the city do differently?

I guess you haven't been reading this blog for the last seven years. Take a hint.

I have to say that we're not doing as bad as we could be. Baltimore has 11x the murder rate, with only 16% larger population (2007 data).

Cities have crime, especially when the economy goes bad. Without putting a cop on every corner, you aren't going to stop malfeasants from beefing over things that malfeasants beef over.

This is not to excuse our liar-in-chief in any way as I hope he gets run out of town on a light rail, but cracking him on things he has direct control over (runaway pork spending, useless condos, wasteful trams, envelopes of hush money, lying to get elected and coercing others to do the same) is far more effective to the cause.

"I don't see how this has anything to do with him."

OK, we can always find money for the Tram, MLS Stadiums, streetcars, repaving the downtown mall, Burnside bridgehead, automated bike rentals, hiring staff with no background (Amy Ruiz and Jennifer Yocom) in their jobs, not to mention staff (he now has 29 staff members.)

Yet somehow we have to close N Portland precinct?

Public safety is not as much a priority as pretty monuments.

"What do you recommend that the city do differently?"

We need to hold charettes to discuss the gangsta's.

Happy? Sam doesn't want to do anything about it, so its moot.

Jack, that's not fair. Vera did a lot to stop this sort of activity, like, er, um, having police on every TriMet train (because Some Guy heard that vicious gangs of father-rapers were taking the train to rob houses in Hillsboro and then come back to downtown to cash in their loot) and otherwise coming down on any "gang-related activity".

And who can forget the Portland police spending three weeks hunting for the caiman that was allegedly in the Willamette, first ostensibly to keep it from eating children and pets and then to save it so it wouldn't drown when the weather changed? (I still laugh when remembering the officer who showed idiot TV news reporters goose tracks on sandbars and claimed that these were really caiman tracks. It made you wonder exactly what the police were trying to track down that they needed such a pathetic cover story, but the Russian car theft gangs rested easy while City Hall was fussing about the crocodilian.)

Portland is the PC city of the year. Not really a conducive location for effective gang enforcement.

Real results come with recognition that wannabes are just as dangerous as the real bangers. Professional "in your face" tactics by police are required, with zero tolerance for any and all gang activity. DA cooperation for full prosecution of all gang offenders must also exist.

Cries of harassment and profiling usually stifle the needed response. I am not defending the required method, only saying that activity leagues and other such programs rarely seem to work.

Gang violence is a terrible city disease. An immediate aggressive treatment is necessary to get it contained before you can begin any new wellness programs.

I am not interested in assigning blame but would like there to be some sort of effort to curtail this kind of behavior. This shooting happened right across the street from the North Portland Library, Jefferson High School, and McMenamins Chapel Pub. There were plenty of innocent bystanders in the area.

We had a discussion last April of these matters, which surely
merit revisiting at least as often as we have incidents such as today's:

In the previous thread, I offered a link to a Forbes ranking of US cities by livability, an attribute frequently proclaimed by local politicians regarding this city.
Portland finished first, but not Stumptown: the ME city that won our historic coin toss
was deemed the most livable American city of sufficient size. The criteria included
crime data but not the quality of local government. Pittsburgh and Baltimore ("The Wire") ranked in the top 15, but not Portland OR.

Forbes has also offered this critique of livability rankings from Joel Kotkin,
"a presidential fellow at Chapman U," who suggested that it takes more
than streetcars to make a great and livable city:

Meanwhile, I'm still puzzling over which of Vera's spawn Jack intended:
our audacious alleged mayor or our career commissioner, who served Ms Katz
so slavishly during her final term and who -- WW advised
us last week -- fully intends to run for re-election.

Have you signed the recall petition?
Have you taken time to consider whom you might prefer on City Council in lieu of the current commissioner whose portfolio includes the Police Bureau?

Let's see, what could the city do differently ?? Maybe they could shut down a few UR districts, thereby freeing up some money for more cops. Just a thought.

and how do we spot the perps? Lots of witnesses perhaps but no descriptions?
Unless the neighborhood is willing to "police" the area themselves they are SOL. So much going on and not enough help from the city.

But keeping people poor insures that crime will be there and thus jobs for those in the police, legal, judicial, and prison industries

Thats such BS. Nobody "keeps" anyone poor. Its easier to gangbang than to get a real job, thats all. It starts with parents. If the parents dont give a crap, then neither will the kids.
Look at the Hispanics. Way more self respect and a better work ethic than any other minority. Hell, probably than any other race. They are flourishing in this country. They work multiple jobs and drive friggin Escalades. Hell, most of them arent even from here originally...then people that were born here...in the best country in the world.. cant even get this right. They just sit on the couch and bitch that the MAN is "keeping them poor". Bulls**t.

Second the motion to shut down a few of those superannuated slush fund urban renewal areas and put those funds back into basic services like police and pot hole filling.

Chant with me:

"We want a Mayah, not a Playah!"


Violent crime's not an issue here. Not yet. You want to tell me it's becoming one, I need more than anecdotes.

Oh yeah. As long as we're not Newark or Detroit, there's nothing to worry about. Hey, if you're killed taking a book back to the library at 11:00 in the morning, you're just an anecdote.

When you live in a place like New York, you risk your life because it's the greatest city in the world, and there's a lot of money and fame to be had. Those of us who moved to Portland made other choices. Now we want the city to hold up its end of the deal.

Stop telling me how to live and make it safe for me to live -- that's apparently too much to ask of clowns like Mayor Creepy.

Keep pounding on this topic Jack, because it is an important one. The Portland Police get alot of flack for things but 99% of the officers work their a$$es off to protect us. Police staffing on the eastside, especially in N/NE is a joke. All the patrol officers end up doing most of the time is react, instead of prevent, because of a lack of staffing. They go from one priority call to another. Adams and the council have no clue on how stop the rise of gang violence in Portland, and this summer has been a bad one. It is time to shift some priorities and funding to increase the "sworn strength" of the PPB to put more officers on the streets to patrol. A short term solution would be to decrease the size of some of the "specialty units" like the Traffic Division and Mounted Patrol and put those officers in Patrol Districts where they are needed.

The ongoing contraction of the police bureau is absurd. It's like the honor system on the Max trains, only the stakes are people's lives rather than a $2 fare.

I don't know if you have ever done this, but you should look into going on a ride-along with a N/NE Patrol Officer. It is an eye opening experience...

The best thing about gangsta rap and hip hop is that the rest of us are learning how to duck.

The ongoing contraction of the police bureau is absurd.

I don't think PPB has contracted. Police bureau staffing has fluctuated slightly up and down over the years, but sworn officer positions have not declined over the long term. In FY 99-00, the Police budget was $113 million, in FY 09-10 it's almost $157 million, which is roughly consistent with 3% inflation every year.

Thanks for cherry-picking those statistics for us. They're closing precincts. And whatever they're spending on the gang problem, it's obviously not enough.

Yet another Top 10 list, this time from USNews:

No Portland on this list, either, which includes Boston, Denver, and Edison NJ.

I have no doubt that parts of Portland would be in, if not top, many such lists; but those parts are smaller than our elected pols would have us believe.

"which is roughly consistent with 3% inflation every year."

To be fair, you should compare it with the increase in spending on streetcars, trams and soccer stadiums. While you're at it, include how much CoP revenue and employee count has increased since then also.

I'll betcha its way past inflation.

They're closing precincts.

Yes, and cutting the police brass needed to run those precincts and putting more officers on the street. Fewer sergeants, lieutenants, and commanders and more beat officers makes sense to me.

And whatever they're spending on the gang problem, it's obviously not enough.

That's assuming there is a "uniformed solution" to the gang problem. In Portland, the number of officers has stayed roughly constant for about 20 years, but violent crime has plummeted by more than 60% (same as the rest of the country). Is there any causal relationship between crime and cops on the street? At some base level, sure, but the crime trends of the last 30 years have been driven far more by demographics and drug markets. We spent a lot more on the gang problem in the 80s, and it was a lot worse.

Overall this last year, Police and Fire (which make up two-thirds of the General Fund) took cuts of about 2.5 - 3.0%, and the rest of the bureaus took cuts of 5.0%.

And spending on b*s* like streetcar operations, "clean money" campaign financing, Little Lord Paulson, etc., etc. ad nauseam continues. Thanks for taking valuable city employee time to comment here, but if I wanted to hear Mayor Creepy's excuses, I would have called his flack.

"That's assuming there is a "uniformed solution" to the gang problem."

You're right. lets stick with the current under-funded solution, it's working pretty well.

Today's homicide in SE is not an unusual event:

Gangs? 60th isn't usually considered anyone's turf, but who can say from the information available?

It would not appear the number of police on patrol has anything to do with this sort of event: no matter how many policemen are on the streets, they cannot be everywhere.

Depressed economy? It's usually theft, domestic abuse, and suicides that spike a bit during hard times.

Guns? There certainly are a lot of them. But we don't know what happened at 60th & Flavel around 3AM today.

Some details on the murder at 57th & Flavel:

Apparently an innocent bystander asleep at 3AM.

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