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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Portland's darkest moment?

If not, this is close to as low as the Rose City has sunk. What a twisted sense of priorities our town has adopted. Why the so-called civil libertarians and Occupiers aren't making youth violence a big issue is beyond us.

Comments (20)

Alas, it's going to get even more bleak. The strutters, preeners and fatcat rip-off artists that run this city don't really care about poor families, their children, their livability -- and they have no real ideas or concrete action plans to do anything about it, except engage in photo ops, press releases, committee conferences, campaign slogans & rhetoric, and standard & creative avoidance behaviors. With another layer of blue sprinkled on top for good measure. Talk about recycling....

what Mojo said

Hmmm, I didn't hear this mentioned at the city's "sustainability and livability" meeting everyone was at tonight.

I don't really get what the "occupy" people are supposed to do about this, but Sam's "tweeting" condolences makes me want to vomit. There are certain communications that decent people shouldn't do on trivial forms of communication. When is he leaving?

Think we all know this is no longer our Rose City.
Things have turned very bleak.
So sad.

Mojo and observer said it well...

But the Mayor can clean things up... instead of appeasing the occupadoes, the Mayor and his Police Chief puppet could crack down on the shooting violence.

I know not if this kid was a gang member or not, but if you crack down on something (murder), you reduce it. But if you appease it (occupadoes), you increase it.

Portland needs serious leaders, yet we have a bad (tweeting) joke in office.

I thought Adams had created a program to eliminate all guns in our community through the limitless power of local government. Better hire another couple PR flacks.

Boy, it's amazing Police Chief Reese who has yet to declare for the Mayor's race is said to be leading in the polls already. Is this just a publicity bounce. We don't even know much about Reese other than he's Mayor Adams chosen one.

This is horrible. No matter what (if any) kind of trouble this kid was involved in, nobody deserves that. But I fear nobody in the seats of power of this city (traditional media, politicians, police) is going to do anything other than issue a few platitudes so long as this poor kid was killed by another low income minority. Portland has made its decision as far as what the city cares about - being progressive, being green, and being on the shortlist of "cool" cities. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it. Poor people with dark skin dying, especially if it's by the hand of someone who looks like them and it occurs in a non-trendy neighborhood, does not move the needle in Portland.

Oh man Jack...the ranger guy. And this kid. It's just sad man. I can't see the politics through the horror. Seen my share of dead kids. I know what those school kids that found him must be feeling. They don't know it now but that experience will never leave them. They are altered. F***ing kids dying before their minds could truly fathom much of anything.
Man I gotta go for a walk. How terrible.

Harry -

Folks who read this blog know that I am no fan of either Sam the Scam or Peanut Butter.

Having said that, there is a lot more to dealing with the bodies on the streets, than just having the "police" "crack down" on "shooting violence".

What we laughingly refer yo as the "criminal justice system" at a multitude of levels, local in the city, on a county level, and on a state level need to get seriously engaged. And the taxpayers need to commit to spending more bucks. (Not, I said spend, I did not say raise taxes.)

Mult. Co. runs the pre trial release supervision in its probation unnit. That unit is down lots and lots of dollars and bodies over the last 8 years. The thugs out on bail have to be taught that this is serious stuff and that they are going to be looked at every second after they have be bailed. That costs money we seem unwilling to spend.

The DAs office, part county funded, part state funded, is down many positions over the last 8 years. Fewer DDAs means some crimes not prosecuted at all; it also means a lot of stuff plea bargained out for small. almost inconsequential penalties, which teaches the thugs that there are no consequences. Wrong lesson to teach. But fixing it costs money we seem unwilling to spend.

Trial and appellate courts in Mult County are down staff. Cases are more delayed. Fixing it costs money...which we seem unwilling to spend.

Where do we put convicted thugs...state is looking at a budget disaster in the Corrections Department, and is looking at cutting more dollars with the DeMuniz led corrections budget / sentencing review panel.Fixing it costs money...which we seem unwilling to spend.

Its not just a "...Portland Police need to crack down..." issue. Its a lot more than that.

And yes, PPB is understaffed with respect to its authorized force. Gilling out the already authorized numbers on PPB is a part of the issue. That costs money, which we seem unwilling to spend. But it isn't just a PPB issue.

Then there's the whole concept of what else do we do as a society to not only catch the "minor" gang crap early and deal with it, but to divert the kids from the "life". What, if anything, is out there that can be empirically demonstrated to actually work, not just provide jobs for government social workers and Non Profit Organizations sucking up grants for programs of dubious efficacy.

Everytime another kid's body hits the street it tells me that what we are doing now isn't getting the result we all seem to want - i.e. less or zero shot, stabbed or beaten kids.

So what do we do about it?

No, I'm not a cop; not a county probation guy; a circuit or appellate court guy, a social worker or a state corrections guy.

I am somebody who watches the whole circus and just shakes my head at what I see.

Observer, you took the words, and the vomit, out of my mouth. I'm reminded of an art exhibition in Chicago in 1979, right after then-mayor Mike Bilandic completely flubbed the response to the Blizzard of '79. It featured a life-sized sculpture of Mike, curled up in his wife's lap, with a tape loop repeating regular whining: "The snow's getting higher...when will it stop?" Replace the tape loop with an automatic Twitter feed and put a statue of Sam preening in the mirror, and you otherwise wouldn't have to change a thing.

Nonny that's a good summary. I know it is not easy, nor free, and it does involve multiple agencies. But public safety is more important than bike lanes, bio swales, education, and almost everything else on the Mayor's shiny-precious to do list. Leadership involves priorities, and Portland has always voted for Mayors who have skewed priorities (IMO). Portland gets what Portland wants/deserves.

Portland politicians and planners want to make Portland the new San Francisco, but along with that the neglected, surrounding neighborhoods get to be the Richmond, the Oakland, the Union City, except in this case there isn't 8 miles of water insulating the wannabe San Francisco from those other areas who don't share the enthusiasm.

Harry -=

You are right about years of failed leadership and a lack of attention to the actual important priorities.real priorities.

That was my point about the need for changes in spending, not an increase in taxes.

Both city and state spending is screwed up.

County spending, IMHO, is not as screwed up, mostly because Mult Co has had more severe budget problems for a lot longer than either Portland or the state.

Our Mayor "tweeted" his condolances? You don't tweet condolances to the parents of murdered children. This is sick...

It seems like this young boy's death is a culmination of a very dark week. Two people died (murder-suicide is suspected) in a downtown motel near where I work; a man presumably committed suicide, though could have been a murder just a few blocks from where I live on Sunday - Sandy was blocked off for hours, and I have not seen any news follow-up on what happened. Then, this boy, murdered, whether by peers or adults. This also has to take a toll on the police who have to investigate these incidents; and, when murder is determined but suspects are unknown, also takes a toll on a community at large.

As Nonny noted, basic services have languished - and, yes, the County has taken hits since 1990, when Measure 5 first passed. I worked on budgets in the 1990s, so saw the yearly erosion of basic budgets. Portland proper is now seeing potential cuts, but doubt it will stop the "gee whiz" projects our ADHD mayor is so in love with. Folks, get to the City's budget forums this winter, and speak up for basic services. We can't help this boy who was killed, but perhaps we can prevent some future murder if enough of us speak up.

umpire - Speaking up does not matter to a Soviet echo chamber.

They do not listen and do not care.

You are on your own.

13-year olds being used a target practice, thriving human trafficking trade, and a pervasive porn industry -- gang activities, shootings and Max line muggings.

Is there a link between the do-your-own-thing, do-nothing government, that taxes citizens for unessential development that might contribute to the problems?

This isn't a solution, but it is a start. Inspires some serious thinking on the topic of what everyone can do.


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