This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 3, 2012 11:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Public power debate still going strong on Oregon Coast. The next post in this blog is Portland "urban renewal" bond sale -- the forecast calls for pain. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Smacktown USA

Here's a side of Portland that doesn't get much play in The New York Times. And it's not new -- it's been this way for decades. No one has come up with the definitive solution to the problem, but doing nothing while the situation worsens certainly isn't it. One can only hope that some day City Hall gets out of the real estate development business and saves some lives.

Comments (13)

Sure the city does 'something' - they give away free rigs, shooting up and disposal spots and discourage stigmatizing drug use.

I wonder how much and who gets paid off by the Mexican drug cartels?

"Ten minutes later, we're in my car, as Jimmy (not his real name) explains how he went from being a University of Oregon athlete so afraid of needles that he had to turn away from movie screens whenever a scene showed a needle going into someone's arm, to a daily heroin user who gets by dealing and occasionally panhandling."

New U of O degree plan.

During February's legislative session, Lufkin unsuccessfully supported a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to treat repeat heroin offenders as they would people who attempt suicide, and civilly commit them to treatment, even against their will.

Lufkin says he's going to return for a second attempt next year.

The 2012 session's House Bill 4022 would have classified people arrested at least three times for heroin possession as mentally ill, and set it up so they could be committed for up to seven days of addiction treatment.

What happened with this House Bill? Who supported it and who didn't? Maybe it isn't as simple as it seems, but why weren't these legislators looking out for the welfare of our communities?

I see this also as a part of the downward spiral of our country and in our city.

What you see in downtown Portland is pretty shocking. Why isn't this a major issue in the local campaigns?

Stuart: The 3 "leading" bobble head candidates, all wear special contact lenses that block out everything but bikes, trolleys, parking meters, lattes and food carts.
They are also issued special ear plugs to block out all unpleasant confrontations from actual voters and any mention of any substantive issues, by anyone.
Yes, my tin foil hat looks good, dontcha think?

portland native,
The pain of this campaign, perhaps ought to be called campain.
Substantive issues nationally and locally are not forthcoming.
Many people do not want to deal with substantive matters, prefer to let others take "care of" matters for them. In my view, there are others who are more than willing to take the wheel and make decisions for the rest of us and it hasn't been a good outcome. At this point, I imagine some of my friends and family wonder why I get engaged in various issues and care.

What happened with this House Bill?

It looks like HB 4022 died in committee (as did the majority of the bills introduced in the last session).

HB 4022 By Representative BARKER (at the request of Multnomah County District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk) (Presession filed.) (at the request of Multnomah County District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk) -- Relating to commitment of persons with mental illness.
02/01 (H) First reading. Referred to the desks of the Co-Speakers.
02/01 (H) Referred to Judiciary with subsequent referral to Ways and Means.
02/08 (H) Public Hearing held.
03/05 (H) In committee upon adjournment.

You have to remember the last legislative session only lasted 30 days, so there wasn't much time to get all of the bills submitted enough consideration necessary for passage.

Thank you for the information.

This is a crisis in this city, and our leaders and legislators should have been lobbying hard for these changes in law.

clinamen - I feel your campain.

In my view, the rampant apathy observed here in beloved Portland (and across the nation) is a direct result of too many conflicting "truths" or "facts". This happens when advocacy replaces common sense. The mind can rationalize anything - it doesn't make it true because the power behind it is money.

My friends also wonder why I bother - and I myself wonder why - however, I find in my concern for the direction I believe society is headed - the impetus to prepare for the collapse of the current system.

IMO, what is unsustainable is the out of control spending witnessed locally (and across the nation, the world?) Spending that benefits a few and leaves the rest with the bill - a bill that's impossible to repay through conventional means.

Preparation is the only way I can find that gives me a sense of having a positive future influence.

I don't know if the Weimar Republic foresaw the effect of hyperinflation on their currency, but I don't think the Treaty of Beijing will be as forgiving as the one in Versailles.

Cam-pain ! Sums it up perfectly.
Thank you, clinamen.

We should convert Wapato Jail to a Leed Platinum eco-roof wind powered rehabilitation center with composting toilets.

All we need is Federal funding for the new light rail line and Homer's agreement in principle to build condos on top (the city must donate the air rights), I'm sure it will achieve private/public linchpin status.

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