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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pamplin papers develop a taste for Kool-Aid

Have you noticed that the Portland Tribune and affiliated papers are suddenly much friendlier toward all things Tri-Met, Metro, "smart growth," and so on? Suddenly they and Metro are taking buddy-buddy surveys together. And today, here's a lovely puff piece dismissing the obvious links between light rail and crime:

there's no clear evidence that the new Orange Line will bring a wave of crime to the region.... An increased number of crimes around a new rail line does not always mean that the line was bad for the community.... "There's bigger problems on the street," he said. "You're much safer on transit than you are on the streets of our city."

Amount of space the story devotes to the opposing viewpoint? Little or none.

Does this slant have anything to do with the gigantic contract the papers' sister company, Ross Island Sand and Gravel, got to pour concrete for the light rail bridge boondoggle? It was "the largest continuous pour for the company in more than 5 years. The pour require[d] about 180 truckloads of concrete and a crew of about 20."

Meanwhile, former Pamplin lieutenant Steve Clark continues to sit on the hopeless Tri-Met board, despite the fact that he has long since moved his career to Corvallis. Given the conflicts of interest, we'll be taking the news as reported by the Trib with a larger grain of salt than ever before.

UPDATE, 9:11 a.m.: Clark reportedly commutes from Portland to Corvallis for work -- that's an hour and 40 minutes each way in a car. Quite a character to have running a local transit district.

Comments (20)

I saw the so-called article, and arrived at much the same conclusion. The "Oh, it's not going to bring crime" guys quoted work for the agency, and I thought I recalled a link between the paper and the agency.

I read those quotes much differently.
1. The benefits brought by light rail are outweighed by the detriments. However, there will be an increase in crime around new stations.
2. There is crime on the street that is worse than crime on light rail.
Conclusion: You have the likelihood of being a victim of crime on light rail but not as bad a victim of crime as you would on the street. However, a crime victim is a crime victim no matter where it happens.

There will be a lot more crime in Milwaukie after light rail goes in than there is now. Along with the free-for-alls on the transit itself, there will be all the lowlife moments in the particle board cr-apartments that are sure to follow.

The way all the po' folks are being pushed out of the city proper, I think the crime wave is more likely to be in the opposite direction.

And I find it hard to believe that an elite with direct connections to government pork would use his newspaper as a propaganda tool to get more.

What a farce.

First Crebs is a TriMelt employee who's so bent over he can't even admit the most germane points.

The Sheriff office predicted the Green Line crime uptick in a report and the commissioners promised more resources.
Then it opened without the needed resources and crime went up while the rest of the county declined.

The crime is certain and is an ongoing problem from Hillsboro to Gresham, Interstate to Clackamas.
It will be in Milwaukie/Oak Lodge as well.
With Milwaukie and the county planning on spending their general funds to pay for their shares of Milwaukie Light Rail there will be less money for public safety, not more.
That's a huge problem.
Crebs admits more funding will be needed but fails to acknowledge the fact that there will be less.

Milwaukie/Oak Lodge is similar to the blue collar Gateway/Rockwood area and will follow the same ruin.

The entire case for the Milwaukie Light Rail Mystery Train is a parade of blatant lies and government chicanery against the public will.

The Park Avenue Station plan and demolishing of the Milwaukie Elks Club facility for section 8 housing will be nearly identical to the ruin of Rockwood with their Fred Meyer closing and added apartments.

All of this could have been fixed, stopped or avoided if only the
despicable newspapers did their job and the public was allowed to vote.

Instead we get Metro PR hacks acting as journalists and TriMelt employees delivering propaganda.

As for the Mall getting more business because of the Green Line?

In 2005 Clackamas County gave the mall owners $24 million
in borrowed UR dollars to help upgrade and expand the Mall.

Until recently, the relationship between Pamplin and local government has been arm's-length, if not downright chilly at times. But that's changed lately -- now it's lovey dovey. One can only speculate about the reasons.

Corporate influence of government bodies is growing on all levels, big and small. "Public-private partnerships" unlocked the door to the henhouse.

Are there any studies showing that light rail increases crime?

I ask because I was under the impression that crime rates are near an all time low in Portland.

I'm genuinely curious.

The Gresham police chief says crime increased out there with the arrival of MAX. I suspect it would be hard to make the statistics say anything else, but not impossible. You know what Mark Twain said about statistics.

"The Orange Line will be watched closely when it opens, Crebs says. Transit police have one sergeant and four officers in their South precinct, which includes Clackamas County. Crebs hopes to increase those numbers to two sergeants and eight officers patrolling the Green and Orange lines, if funding allows."

That is exactly the same thing that happened with the Green Line.
When the funding was not made available the crime went up as anticipated. While crime in the rest of the county went down 5 years in a row.

Now it is even worse because public safety funding will be taken to pay for the light rail.
The Sheriff has had enough of the shenanigans and has endorsed the rail vote measure.

"Sheriff Roberts’ Statement of endorsement – Clackamas Rail Vote Petition
As Clackamas County Sheriff, my highest priority is public safety in this county. [...]Over the last four years, I have watched with concern as county commissioners
dedicated increasing amounts of county resources to building a second light rail line from Portland into Clackamas. Their current proposal would have the county
commit about $40million from future county general fund revenues to servicing debts for the planned light rail project. Since a large portion of the general fund is currently dedicated to public safety, I am very concerned that the cost
of new light rail will undermine future public safety budgets.
This past year, I have watched concerned citizens in Clackamas County question the practicality of cutting back public safety funding so this project could go
forward. Those citizens now seek to put the question up for a public vote. I support citizens having the right to vote on such matters.
Craig Roberts, Sheriff, Clackamas County"

Go spend some time at the Milwaukie transit mall if you want to get a sense of what types of things the lightrail will bring in to the area.

I hated George W. Bush as President.

And I can't stand FOX News.

But, boy, would I be ecstatic if we had a Mayor like George W. Bush, and we had a media outlet like FOX News, for Portland.

The Portland Tribune was supposed to be a breath of fresh air and be what The Oregonian stopped being. But it has become more of a puppet and has spewed a lot of pro-government stories ("Everything's Fine! Everything's Great! Crime isn't a problem, you're making it up!")...rather than actual investigative stories. (And notice how they eliminated their online commenting ability, now they don't even want to be questioned on their stories.)

One would think Lars Larson could easily break in and start his own local media empire...and frankly on many LOCAL issues I agree with him spot on. But he's too busy trashing President Obama on ridiculous issues that much of his credibility gets lost.

I voted for construction of the Portland/Gresham line, like many others. And when it went live, crime shot up to such an extent that the mayor of Gresham assigned his cops to heightened patrol at stations and, occasionally, in the cars themselves.

We voted against the Portland/Hillsboro line, like most others. It was built anyway. They increased police presence in response to increased crime.

Tri-Met and Vancouver residents voted down the Interstate line. It was built anyway. Crime increased. At that point, they stopped asking voters.

The Gateway/Town Center line went in, and crime went up.

The Trib puff-piece claims that history won't repeat itself.

I think it's kind of crazy that City of Portland is making Dr. Bob fill the Ross Island Lagoon back in. Supposed to be salmon habitat for the lower Willamette? Ha! It will be too warm and the local carp will just eat the salmon roe

I used to read the Tribune on a regular basis. They used to defend the first amendment, and hold governments feet to the fire, but no more, they seem to be following the Oregonian, and becoming a clearing house for government policy, and advocating the micro-managing of our everyday lives.

No government is perfect, no matter how well it may be appear to be working. And until the past few years local journalists would question what needed to be questioned and sometimes win awards for it.

But over the past few years most if not all of the local news sources don't seem to question anything anymore and appear to simply serve as media outlets for local government pep rallies and public announcements.

It's gotten weird, it's gotten creepy, and it's suspicious. It starting to feel way too much how life in Eastern Bloc countries has been described.

I'm thinking that's what "Change" really meant in 2008.

I was at the Max station heading into downtown on Tuesday night, and there was a Beaverton police officer on the platform. He said the police take public safety on the west side Max very seriously.

Before Jefferson announced his candidacy for Mayor, his idea was for citizens to patrol at stations in East Portland area. I didn't think it was a good idea and I questioned his judgment then. As I stated before, am not for Hales either, he is a good one for having created problems in the first place as a result of his policies when he was Commissioner.

I was at the Max station heading into downtown on Tuesday night, and there was a Beaverton police officer on the platform. He said the police take public safety on the west side Max very seriously.

My understanding is that the Beaverton Transit Center is the #1 location within Beaverton city limits for police calls for service.

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