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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A little more fuel for the fire

The ongoing public debate about the monthly Last Thursday blowout on Alberta Street has been going on for a long time -- a couple of years, at least. We've been to the thing a grand total of once. As a taxpayer, though, we have a question: Since the city is not only waiving for Last Thursday all the permit requirements that other groups have to comply with, but also affirmatively subsidizing the event, will the city be held liable if somebody gets hurt? If we were a personal injury plaintiff's attorney, we'd figure out some way to get into the deep City Hall pocket in a case like that.

Comments (9)

It's not really my crowd, but I do enjoy the Last Thursdays. It's even fairly kid-friendly for the first hour or two (but definitely not thereafter). As much as I hate to see the buzz harshed, though, it is unfair that they get to flout the rules and skip the fees all other groups -- even neighbors who want a simple block party -- have to comply with.

Didn't Alberta get a "Main Street" grant recently? Why can't some of that money be put towards permits and fees for Last Thursday?

Eric, interesting that you mention "kid friendly". I love to see families enjoy what Portland has to offer, but wow, talk about brats behaving badly.

Folks turning out for this event with kids seem more reluctant to control them than on other occasions. Almost as though they might somehow break their little hipster spirits if they were to publicly discipline them.

It's no wonder why growing up there might lead a few of them to follow in the footsteps of the problem makers.

It's amazing, really, that most folks don't see this for what it is: a perfect example of using power to achieve political ends.

In other words, Adams and Fritzdon't want to appear unpopular, or lose precious votes for future elections. They're using voter given power to serve their own ends, and any thinking person knows it.

Don't believe it? Then ask (for example)--why can't Hawthorne Boulevard hold its yearly celebration without permits, myriad rules, and police presence?

“This is what makes Portland Portland,” says Sammy Eath, an 18-year-old artist who displayed his paintings at the most recent Last Thursday. “If you start regulating and charging people, it will be Seattle.”

It's patronage. A bizarre form but patronage nonetheless. "Keep the government out of our street party! Oh, the government is paying for it? Don't dare take our party away government! We won't vote for you if you do."


OWM +1

This seems to be the trend - fragment the constituency with contention to the point that the voting majority lapses into somnolence,then pander to the splinter groups.
This allows them to operate with impunity.

The thing I fear is that this cycle of apathy/pandering to the fringes will prove too difficult break. This may be, IMO, because there are no real leaders - only front men/ marketing icons similar to the geico lizard or Jack (in the box) and this type of de(mock)racy is the logical result of the greed that has gone before it.

“If you start regulating and charging people, it will be Seattle.”

In other words, like Portland.

The only difference is that Seattle is unafraid to charge EVERYONE; while Portland panders to its special interests as defined by the Mayor's office (currently: homosexual, young, "creative", bicycles) and charges through the roof for everyone else.

Erik, you forgot to include the food carts. They seem to be proliferating in Portland faster than bike lanes. I'm sure most of the proprietors fit into one of your other categories. Don't forget to paint a bird on it.

Funny how they waive permit fees, but isn't this the same NE Alberta where they fined a little kid $500 for running a lemonade stand? Apparently, she wouldn't pledge to "vote progressive."

Thanks, Dave. Yes. Food carts are a Mayor's special interest.

Brick-and-mortar restaurants receive a complementary visit from Randy's Hit Squad, followed with a request for a couple thousand dollars in "campaign donations".

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