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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Portlandia: It's to die for

While Portland prepares to elect Char-Lie Hales mayor and build more dopey streetcars and hideous cr-apartments; while Multnomah County plans its new personnel building in the spiffy new "urban renewal" district that will condo-ize Lincoln High School; and while the Metro government sells the taxpayers out for a Hyatt hotel, people all over town are going off their rockers. Here's a remarkable press release this afternoon from the city's police bureau:

On Monday October 1, 2012, 4:28 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to North Precinct responded to the St. John's Bridge on a report of a male sitting by himself on the railing. As officers were responding to the scene, additional callers reported hearing a gunshot and then seeing a body fall into the river below.

Officers arrived on scene and found what appeared to be blood spatter on the outside of the bridge super-structure. Officers also observed a bullet laying on the super-structure in the same area.

Portland Fire and Rescue and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office river patrol responded and located the body of an African American male adult in the river with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined that the man, 48-year-old Edison Kevin Jackson died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

At 10:00 p.m., officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the West side of the Hawthorne Bridge on a report of a female who jumped over the railing of Waterfront Park into the river. A Portland Fire & Rescue boat responded to rescue the 17-year-old female from the river. Medical personnel transported the young woman to a Portland hospital for a mental health evaluation.

On Tuesday October 2, 2012, at 6:54 p.m., officers assigned to East Precinct responded to the report of a woman inside the shed of a vacant house at Northeast 84th Avenue and Fremont Street.

Officers arrive to find the 41-year-old woman pouring the pesticide Diazinon in her hair. It was readily apparent to officers that the woman was in mental crisis. She was able to communicate to officers that she was killing the bugs that were crawling on her.

The woman left the shed and began walking away from officers. Officers followed the woman at a distance as they called Poison Control. Poison Control advised the officers that Portland Fire and Rescue Haz Mat needed to respond to effectively decontaminate the woman.

Fire personnel arrived and work with officers to develop a way to safely approach the woman and get her decontaminated. The woman was screaming at both fire and police personnel as they developed a plan to approach her. Eventually the woman agreed to let firefighters approach her so they used full SCBA protection to approach her and decontaminate her.

Medical personnel transported the woman to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation.

At 7:20 p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to the West end of the Steel Bridge after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a 39-year-old male who said he was feeling sad and wanted to die. Officers located the man who told police he was off of his medication and wanted to end his life.

Officers transported the man to a Portland hospital for a mental health evaluation.

At 10:34 p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to Northwest 15th Avenue and Pettygrove Street on the report that a man was going to attempt suicide by jumping off of a bridge.

Officers contacted the 53-year-old man by phone who told police that he was upset about some things in his personal life and wanted to kill himself. Officers convinced the man to wait and meet with them and he agreed.

When officers contacted him, they offered to take the man to a hospital to talk with someone about his distress. The man agreed and officers transported him to a Portland hospital.

On Wednesday October 3, 2012, at 5:17 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to a residence in the 6800 block of Northeast Glisan Street on the report of a 50-year-old suicidal man with a knife. Officers talked to the man's brother who told police that his brother had a knife and asked that he (the brother) kill him.

The brother left the residence and called 9-1-1 and told police that their 73-year-old mother was still inside and she had limited mobility.

Officers set up containment on the house and the suicidal man came outside and was safely taken into custody. The man was transported to a Portland hospital for a mental health examination.

Officers were at the residence in March for a similar incident.

At 5:39 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to an apartment in the 16100 block of Southeast Alder Street to assist Project Respond on the report of a suicidal woman who threatened suicide by taking "pills" and "booze."

Officers repeatedly knocked at the apartment door but received no response. Concerned for the 29-year-old woman's welfare, officers forced entry into the apartment and found the woman unconscious on the couch.

Medical personnel responded and transported the woman to a Portland hospital for treatment for a drug overdose and mental health examination.

At 7:44 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to a call of a 22-year-old man who stated he wanted to kill himself by riding his bicycle into traffic in the area of 105th Avenue and Southeast Cherry Blossom Drive.

Arriving officers located the man on his bicycle in the middle of traffic. Officers contacted the man who told police that he wanted to kill himself and wanted to kill his former roommate.

Officers placed a police hold on the man and transported him to a Portland hospital for a mental health evaluation.

At 11:20 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to a suicide at a residence in the 14000 block of Southeast Main Street.

Arriving officers were contacted by the grandmother and friend of the deceased, 19-year-old Justin Barker. The friend told police that he and Barker were in the garage consuming drugs and alcohol and that Barker was playing "Russian Roulette" with a handgun. Barker's friend told police that that Barker shot himself in the head.

Homicide Detectives, Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division and the Oregon State Medical Examiner responded to conduct a death investigation, which the Medical Examiner determined was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Do you think Portland would be a better place to live if we spent less public money on real estate development and more on mental health services? Just a crazy thought.

Comments (24)

Each and every one of those stories are sad and sadder. I can't agree more with you Jack. Portland has money (or at least they think they do) to pour into things they don't need and have nothing to give to those most in need. It's only going to get worse.

We aren't to talk of such concerns in Oregon as everything here is sugar and spice and suicide is so depressing. The rule, if its not in the O it didn't happen.

This all started under Goldschmidt and continued with a vengance under Vera. It's a weird obsession with being more focused on how the outside perceives us than what we actually are. We look great on the surface of things, but are rotten at the core when this is a snap shot of a day in the life of Portland. Programs that assist the weakest among us should be the priority of a strong and progressive "world class" city.

I'm thankful they weren't shot by the PoPo.
My town is still spending way to much time using Police to deal with mentally ill. Basicly using Police to move them from one location to another.

What do you expect from a place that wants to stay weird? Appearance always is more important than substance. Besides people in Portland aren't that smart to do anything.

Sam could've been mayor again easily.

"Besides people in Portland aren't that smart to do anything."

Don't shortchange Portlanders. They are smart. And consistent. Remember, Portland always gets what Portland wants.

You said it yourself:
Sam could've been mayor again easily."


Sam denied Portland that opportunity. So Portland does what? They "stay weird" with Nutsy or ChaLie.

The second story: "At 10:00 p.m., officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the West side of the Hawthorne Bridge . . . ."
That girl's life was saved by the rescue boat staged just across the river at Station 21, whose presence I denigrated on this blog about a week ago. I am glad that a boat was manned and ready to save her.

Portland took the turn when Ma Anand Sheela bussed in many hundred un-used voters from Antelope and Portland do-gooders rolled out the red carpet to help them rather than buy them all bus tickets home. The word soon spread across the US that Portland was a good hit and as once said, build it and they will come. Sheela wins!

The county, which is supposed to provide human services loses something like $15 million to urban renewal each year, so we are very literally taking money from mental health and spending it on real estate development.

Rough full harvest moon week's end. Though a cynic would recognize the PPD's press release as self-promoting, it is sadly appreciated. They should keep them coming until City Council and METRO and the Tri-County goverments and Gov. Dr. Kitzhaber & the Oregon Legislators DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR A CHANGE -- instead of bickering and jostling for liquor and gambling revenues, VIP seats at hipster dens, and phony green awards --

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Matthew 25:34-45
(Standard King James version (Pure Cambridge)).

My nephew the ER doc says "the full moon brings them out ".
He knows!

Amen Mojo...Amen!

Not to mention out of control gang violence spreading to every corner of the city....

Strongly agree with Mojo's opening paragraph and don't care what the Good Book says as much as I feel that rationally this is a truly insane mental health system. And yes, this is the police trying to tell us what it is really like out there, and suggesting they often do handle the mental calls well.
That does not mean they should stop looking for ways to use nonlethal ways of controlling the most violent mental cases.

I don't think spending more money on mental health and homelessness would make things any better; although shutting down government subsidies to uneconomical projects might allow Portlanders to keep more of their hard earned dollars and allow for lower property tax bills (rather than having urban renewal drain property tax rolls).

Commissioner Fish is blowing smoke when he talks of a ten year plan to end homelessness. The public bennies handed out to the unproductive only causes more unproductive folks to migrate to Portland. It's called the Willie Horton principle discovered after such similar attempts in San Francisco.

This wasn't a press release as some have said. Its' their email info alert. Interesting to sign up for it especially for you are out and about during the day. It helps to avoid traffic jams related to police calls. Even though this one had more mental health calls than most most there have been other info alerts that were close in the number of mental health calls. This just shows how much police work has changed. Much more mental health calls than in the past. It's reality.

That's one of the things that worries me the most about the whole "Keep Portland Weird" motif, because you have the same situation in Austin, where the phrase originated. Instead of pushing a great employment market or the quality of life, pushing the "weirdness" means you get a lot of people who move to Portland because "everyone there will be just as weird as me." Most of these aren't people in need of serious mental care: they're probably folks who figured that they were getting free of the idiocy they faced back in their original hometowns, and then discovered that the idiocy is properly referred to as "life". Bad roommates, overdue bills, and all.

Back in the early Nineties, Alaska had a big influx of newbies thanks to the show "Northern Exposure", all of whom somehow assumed that the show was a documentary and that the whole state was full of little Cicelys. The people who were already there were frustrated by the newbies, because in most towns in Alaska, everyone was dependent upon each other to get through the winter. They didn't have time for slackers and the delusional who wanted to play all day, and they only hoped that a winter spent freezing and starving might convince them either to get their acts together or to move back home. I used to laugh at that, until a neighbor made a big deal about moving to Seattle because "Dallas is too stuffy and negative, so I'm going somewhere where life is easy." I learned three months later that he'd jumped in front of a train shortly after his money ran out, and he'd discovered that Seattle wasn't Oz and someone wasn't magically going to come out of the sky to fix all of his problems. Unfortunately, over the last fifteen years or so, Portland has turned into a real-life Cicely, and now residents and police are having to deal with the people like my old neighbor who belatedly realize that life doesn't magically change just because they've moved to Portland.

And so, Char-Lie's gonna solve all those people's problems by building more trains for them to jump in front of when the city and county start foreclosing on people's homes for unpaid stacks of "fee" assessments. Go by meatwagon!

It takes professionals to Keep Portland Weird.

Let's not forget the cast of characters running this place... from CoP's perspective, by pretending the problem isn't there and doing nothing, one by one the problem goes away all by itself.

Portland City Hall... feel the love.

"Portland took the [down]turn when ... Portland do-gooders rolled out the red carpet to help them [Rajneeshees in Antelope or Catholics in the Diocese, pick one], rather than buy them all bus tickets home." ... down the Organized Religion road to the Glory of mental submission.

"ER doc says 'the full moon brings them out.'"
Astrology studies show 'the New Moon sucks them in.' Concentration in dark interior mental realms causes more suicides than effusive mooney-looney outlandishness causes.
[n.b. Astrology is the (2nd) oldest profession, Keepers of Calendar (since 6000 years ago), and from that consciousness later descended the caduceus, Doctor primacy in the house, and a gold-mine medical 'bizness.']

"Matthew 25:34-45 (Standard King James version (Pure Cambridge))"
Dorsey, age 49, 1 advice: "Son, you've got to learn to be a judge of character."

"shutting down government subsidies to uneconomical projects [mainly US Pentagonal militaristic violence insanity] might allow Portlanders to keep more of their hard earned dollars and allow for lower property tax bills." Absolutely.

30 years of tending bar has proven to me that the full moon does indeed make people weird. And the Harvest moon is THE worst. There is also a phenomenon we jokingly called the (human) fall rut. We single gals were never at a loss for suitors at this time of the year.

'City Council and METRO and the Tri-County goverments and Gov. Dr. Kitzhaber & the Oregon Legislators DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR A CHANGE -- '

Sniffing unicorn farts will make you start thinking this will ever happen....stop it! It's a pipe dream.

The full moon does not make people 'weird.' Untreated mental illness and untreated addiction makes people weird.

Politicians have no control over these illnesses. Some do, somewhat, have some sway over whether treatment programs are funded. The mayor of Portland isn't one of those. Those are Oregon state legislators who have voted decade after decade to underfund effective inexpensive treatment.

These were not a decision from ignorance or spite or borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. It has been a purposeful, strategic, horrendously expensive march from social and medical treatments to cops and courts and jails and prisons for tens of thousands of Oregon families. And sadly, too many victims. Cops are just a cog in the wheel, stuck with the dirty work, trying to keep our city safe to be weird in.

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