Tag Archives: Portland

Homeless Portland man receives probation & mental health/drug treatment at his 68th conviction

It shouldn’t have taken a 68th conviction to get this man some much-needed treatment. We’ll see if he actually takes advantage of it.

As reported by Oregon Live: A homeless man who is one of Portland’s most frequently arrested people is getting a chance to get drug, alcohol and mental health treatment instead of prison time for his most recent convictions this week — for threatening a woman and her minor son as they cowered in their locked car.

Brian Ray Lankford, 50, was sentenced to three years of probation through the Multnomah County Justice Reinvestment Program, which also is geared to help him find stable housing.

Repeat offender Lankford

Lankford has been arrested more than 220 times in the past decade and — as of Monday — convicted 68 times for crimes including misdemeanor theft, trespassing, harassment, disorderly conduct and interfering with public transportation, according to his court file. He often has been sentenced to fines, short stints in jail or probation in which he was not actively supervised.

On Monday, Lankford pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and menacing after a woman arrived home in August 2017 to discover Lankford behind her Goose Hollow-area home, just a few blocks from Portland State University. She told him to leave, and he began swinging a 3-foot-long tree branch toward the woman and her son, who had retreated to their locked car and called 911, investigators said.

The boy told police he worried Lankford was going to break their car windows and hurt them. The boy’s mother, Tiffany Hammer, told the Portland City Council in May that Lankford was a repeat criminal who was among a homeless population that commits a wide array of crimes around their neighborhood. On that particular day, Hammer said, she thinks he was trying to steal from her home.

Lankford told The Oregonian/OregonLive last year that he’s been arrested so many times that sometimes he cares if he goes to jail and sometimes he doesn’t. He said he uses methamphetamines, and it’s easy to feel hopeless.

The defense and the prosecution worked out the terms of Lankford’s plea agreement, which was approved by Multnomah County Circuit Judge Benjamin Souede.

A spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Brent Weisberg, said state guidelines recommended Lankford be sentenced to 13 to 14 months of prison. But the district attorney’s office thought probation, treatment and help finding housing would be better at addressing Lankford’s problems.

If Lankford fails to abide by the terms of his probation, he could get about two to five years in prison, Weisberg said.

“The hope is he’ll engage in the wraparound services that are being offered,” Weisberg said.

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Portland Thorns soccer fans boo during halftime military swearing-in ceremony

Typical progressives…it’s all about THEIR feelings. Can’t respect the fact that these kids volunteered for this service and that this was the enlistees’ ceremony. Classless.

Details from Fox News: Fans at a National Women’s Soccer League game rained down boos during a U.S. Armed Forces swearing-in ceremony Wednesday after the enlistees were asked to pledge they would obey the orders of President Trump.

The ceremony took place at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., while the Portland Thorns were facing the North Carolina Courage. The event was scheduled ahead of the 2019 season when the club discovered it would be playing on Sept. 11, according to The Oregonian.

The crowd applauded the group after it took the Oath of Enlistment but booed when the enlistees were asked to “obey the orders of the President of the United States.”

The boos come as Major League Soccer came under fire for banning political banners in its club’s stadiums. The National Women’s Soccer League does not have a fan code of conduct but agreed with its partner club, the Portland Timbers, to ban political signage at Thorns games.

Read the whole story here.

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Oregon man and woman arrested for attacking MAGA hat-wearing President Trump supporter

Victim Lenzner

Remember folks, #LoveTrumpsHate!

From Daily Mail: A man and woman have been arrested accused of attacking a MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporter who was on a date night with his wife.

Luke Lenzner says he was ‘sucker punched’ outside an Oregon bar in the early hours of Saturday morning while wearing his ‘Make America Great Again’ cap.

Pictures show Lenzner in the red hat with Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan emblazoned across it with cuts and bruises to his face.

Police say 23-year-old Adebisi A. Okuneye and Leopold A. Hauser, 22, were arrested and charged with third-degree assault following the incident in Portland.

Unhinged demorats in Portland/Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office photos

Lenzner told FOX 12 he was ‘mobbed’ outside the bar by people who ‘just circled me and my wife’.

Security footage shows the couple as they leave the bar. Lenzner appears to point at his hat and say something to other patrons before the altercation.

‘Surrounding me, like literally surrounding me, pushing me. I’m just trying to get through, trying to stop the person from hitting me, from taking my hat, and then I get sucker punched.’

Lenzner says he has been left with bruising and cut to his arms and face.

Hauser and Okuneye are said to have fled before police arrived but Lenzner was able to give officers a license plate. They were arrested a few blocks away and are expected to be arraigned Monday.

Witnesses are said to have accused Lenzner of provoking the attack by pointing to his hat but police say Lenzner was not involved physically in the incident.

See also:

Guys wearing MAGA hats offer free hugs in Seattle; ends up getting egged and “milkshaked”
MAGA hate crime: California woman abuses elderly man for MAGA hat; is fired
MAGA hate crime: 81 y.o. man assaulted for wearing MAGA hat
MAGA hate crime: Black student assaults white for MAGA hat
Kentucky man arrested for pulling gun on couple wearing MAGA hats

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Portland, OR taxpayers provided $500,000 for illegal aliens facing deportation/seeking asylum

A new study from Portland State University study (August 2019) found that more than 38,000 people experienced homelessness in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties in 2017. The study also found that some 107,000 people were housing insecure or at risk of homelessness.

Portland Business Journal reports that the study also estimated that it would cost between $2.6 billion and $4.1 billion to provide housing, support, services and operations to the homeless in the region over the next 10 years. Providing rent assistance would also cost between $8.6 billion and $21 billion over the next decade.

Yet the taxpayers cough up half a million dollars to assist illegal aliens. And that number is going to go up to $2M.

Another demorat-run city putting the needs of illegal aliens above those of their own U.S. citizens.

Portland’s free legal assistance program, called Universal Representation, provided at least 341 people with lawyers to represent them in deportation hearings.

According to Oregon Live, the program, called Universal Representation, also helped at least 105 would-be refugees apply for asylum. And of the people served, 23 were unaccompanied immigrant children. More from their story:

“Portland’s City Council approved the service last year and put $500,000 toward its budget from property tax collections. It is run through the Equity Corps of Oregon, with lawyers provided by nonprofits Catholic Charities of Oregon, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Immigration Counseling Service, Innovation Law Lab and Metropolitan Public Defender.

The program was championed by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who said at the time of its passage that hundreds of unauthorized immigrants living in Portland faced deportation and could not afford lawyers.

She said providing attorneys free of charge was a matter of “protecting everyone’s constitutional right to due process.” Eudaly didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

This year, Multnomah County allocated $290,000 to the initiative and the state approved an additional $2 million to expand the service statewide — the first state to do so in the nation.

According to internal city progress reports, the people who received legal services through Portland’s program hailed from many countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela.”

Read the whole story here.

See also:

Liberal utopia of Portland: A view of the homeless living downtown
Liberal utopia of Portland, Oregon: Entire city block and family bike path taken over by homeless
Liberal utopia of Portland, Oregon: Homeless crisis exploding, private citizens now paying homeless to pickup trash

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Portland, OR to create “equitable mobility” task force to determine charges for driving on public roads

From Oregon Live: Portland City Council approved a plan Wednesday to study short-and-long-term strategies to charge people to use city streets, an effort intended to reduce congestion and curb carbon emissions as the region expects as many as 500,000 new residents by 2040.

The city will create a Pricing for Equitable Mobility task force to study and recommend potential road user fees – such as cordons, where drivers are charged to use certain streets in the city center or potentially more robust freeway tolls in the area. The task force will meet later this year and is expected to offer initial recommendations in summer 2020 and final recommendations in the spring of 2021.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the transportation bureau, said the city must take bold steps to try and get people out of their cars. “We are going the wrong direction on transportation,” she said, adding that 42% of Portland’s carbon emissions come from transportation sources. Portland and Multnomah County have the goal of transitioning 100% to renewable energy sources by 2050.

What strategies are on the table are still up for debate, but likely options include cordon pricing, a potential fee for Uber and Lyft fares, more demand-based parking pricing, and potentially a local fee to charge drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The vote comes nearly two years after the council urged the city to create a comprehensive congestion pricing and demand strategy. The Legislature in 2017 also kickstarted a plan to study whether and how to charge drivers on Interstate 5 and 205 in the Portland area. The state has since applied for tolling approval from the federal government.

Advocates like Jillian Detweiler, executive director of the nonprofit transportation organization The Street Trust, said the city already knew what it must do – and that’s offer incentives to get people out of cars and onto bikes or transit.

“This can’t wait,” she said of the pricing plan, adding it took 20 months to get to the point of creating a task force. Other supporters urged the city to act sooner, saying growing traffic congestion poses a health risk to young people here.

The task force is expected to include diverse voices from transit-dependent groups and organizations representing communities of color, folks who, city officials say, already shoulder an undue burden in commuting times because they’ve been forced to relocate to farther flung neighborhoods.

Chris Warner, Portland’s transportation director, said the city was seeing an increase in carbon emissions in recent years, not a decrease. Those emissions rose 6.4% last year, Warner said, and are up 8% since 1990.

“We have to reduce the amount we drive alone,” he told the council. Portland hopes its alliance with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Climate Challenge, of which it is one of 25 cities chosen, will help the city “augment and accelerate” it’s near-term climate reduction goals.

Portland has studied how other major cities — like London, Stockholm and Singapore — have started charging drivers to use city roads or drive into sections of the city.

Charging people to drive works, according to the city’s research. But it’s important to have a solid plan in place, access to transit and tailor the pricing strategy to the region.

Portland’s challenge is intensified because unlike many other larger cities, the bulk of commuters who drive alone into downtown and close-in neighborhoods for work in the Rose City aren’t wealthy. PBOT officials said 65% of peak car commuters in Portland are medium or low-income, so finding out how to charge users to drive is a tricky issue.

Noah Siegel, PBOT’s interim deputy director, said Portland couldn’t make whatever fees it settles on for drivers punitive. “It’s really about freeing people from sitting in traffic in their cars,” he told the council.

Read the whole story here.

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Anarchists leak water hose into office of Portland lawyer who represents ICE employees

Damage to law office caused by anarchists

The “tolerant” left strike again.

As reported by Oregon Live:

Sometime over the weekend, anonymous vandals stuck a garden hose through the front-door mail slot of lawyer Sean Riddell’s Northeast Portland office and left the water running. Someone who works in the office — a house converted into business space — discovered the mess about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Riddell and lawyer Christine Mascal, who run separate legal practices under the same roof, wondered if someone targeted one of them because of a case or whether it was a random vandal, Riddell said.

On Monday, Riddell apparently got an answer — in the form of an email forwarded to him from a Willamette Week reporter who said she received it earlier that day. The email, signed “some anarchists,” claims responsibility and says the authors hoped to “cause maximum economic damage” to Riddell because he provides legal representation to the National ICE Council, the union for local employees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“For every child that is separated from their parents and locked in a cage, there are people making money off it,” reads the email, posted in a Willamette Week story.

Riddell called police Sunday after the initial discovery. If caught, the vandal or vandals could face felony charges of first-degree criminal mischief or second-degree burglary for entering the space of his office through the mail slot, which had been painted shut.

Riddell said his law office has video surveillance cameras and so do area businesses. He called police again Monday and let them know he was forwarding along the email claiming responsibility. The email also was posted anonymously Monday morning to an anarchist website.

On Tuesday, industrial-strength fans were blowing across the warped wooden floors of the law office and some of the still-soggy carpet in the basement, where the water had poured through floor vents from the first-floor office. Workers were tearing up the carpet before it could turn moldy.

Riddell said insurance will likely pay for the damage.

He noted that the people unhappy with him weren’t willing to stand up for what they believe in by identifying themselves. “I have the courage of my convictions,” Riddell said. “I put my name on what I do.”

Read the whole story here.

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Whoops: Portland city officials over-estimate (by 5 times) the number of new homes they expected an infill project to create

Wonder how long it will take Portland bureaucrats to create affordable homes to solve their homeless crisis with this kind of “planning?”

From Oregon Live: Portland planners publicly overstated by five times the number of new homes they expect a controversial infill plan could create over the next two decades.

City officials boasted that their plan projects “the addition of 24,000 units in triplexes or fourplexes” by the year 2035.

But the city’s own forecasts paint a much different picture.

Planners expect a net of fewer than 4,000 new units to be built in residential neighborhoods citywide under their infill plan, according to numbers obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive and not previously disclosed by the city.

What’s more, the plan isn’t expected to deliver those new homes to the inner eastside neighborhoods as planners have stated, an analysis of those numbers shows. Instead, it would disproportionately steer a majority of new units to poorer neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue, where the risk of displacing residents is high.

It’s not clear which number might ultimately prove more accurate.

But planners have trumpeted the higher figure of new homes when they talk about ways to offer more housing options to keep prices affordable while using the lower figure to analyze specific neighborhood impacts and the potential that vulnerable residents could get pushed out to make way for the new homes.

The infill proposal could become official city policy by this summer. The city’s volunteer Planning and Sustainability Commission is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday before referring it to the City Council for final action.

While forecasting home construction is an inexact science, city officials acknowledge they haven’t adequately communicated their infill projections. Nothing in their work was intended to be misleading, they say.

“We need to be more articulate,” said Donnie Oliveira, a spokesman for Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Planners say their overarching objective isn’t to hit a quota for new infill but rather to create more choices about the types of homes available in residential neighborhoods. Changing the zoning code is the only way to add new housing options, they say, even if it takes several decades for developers to build significantly more infill units.

“It’s a major step in removing the regulatory barriers, but not the market barriers,” said Morgan Tracy, a lead planner on the project.

Read the whole story here.

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How much does it cost for a 100-bed homeless shelter tent in Portland? Take a wild guess…

One big expensive tent/Photo from Harbor of Hope

Doesn’t matter as there are always taxpayer funds to cover the costs.

FYI: From the brief search I was able to do about this private developer, Homer Williams, it looks like he’s got a questionable history with his developments.

As reported by Oregon Live: Despite promises of a private-sector solution to homelessness, the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services has agreed to pitch in at least $1 million to make sure a new shelter actually opens.

The 100-bed shelter, built inside a tent-like structure in Northwest Portland at the base of the Broadway Bridge, was billed as the business community’s answer to local government’s inability to get people off the street.

Developer Homer Williams announced the plan with a starting $1.5 million contribution from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle. The project quickly began to run behind schedule and over budget.

The “navigation center” model of shelter is a new one for Portland. Williams and former Portland Development Commission director Don Mazziotti wanted to replicate what they saw in San Francisco and other cities that have used this model that combines traditional shelter space with intensive help from service providers to help the people who stay at the shelter get into permanent housing as quickly as possible. It will also have laundry facilities, showers and other amenities.

Through Harbor of Hope, Williams and Mazziotti’s nonprofit, project officials estimated that it would cost $3.5 million to get the shelter built and running for the first year. By December, they began to worry that the $3.5 million would only cover construction.

But warning signs showed up as early as last summer.

Harbor of Hope broke ground in April on land donated by Portland’s urban renewal agency, which will retain ownership. The city waived permit fees, as well.

The cost to clean up the lead, arsenic, fossil fuels and other contaminants on the site ended up higher than expected. Officials reported at the end of July that environmental cleanup was earmarked as $100,000 in the budget. But Harbor of Hope had already spent $600,000 on it.

Harbor of Hope leaders also found that construction costs were going to be more expensive than predicted. By the time the original $3.5 million was raised, the project cost had doubled.

While the mayor’s office had said the city had no plans to finance a shelter that wasn’t feasible, city and county officials have wanted more shelter beds in the Old Town Chinatown area for years. They first saw an empty warehouse on Hoyt Street as an option, but that location would have taken up to $10 million to make usable.

So while Williams and others vowed that Harbor of Hope would not require any taxpayer money, officials saw this shelter as a cheaper option than building or renovating their own.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services agreed to contribute the first year’s operating budget, which will pay for staff, programming and day-to-day needs at the shelter.

“Our elected leaders and service providers don’t get enough credit for their success in adding hundreds of shelter beds across our community,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s difficult and expensive to find and invest in good sites, close to the right services.”

Williams has pitched other ideas in the past that have largely gone nowhere. He gained some traction under former Mayor Charlie Hales with an idea to turn marine Terminal 1 into a homeless shelter campus but lost city council support when it came to who would run the shelter.

He has also proposed a land trade to build workforce housing in industrial-zoned areas and asked Multnomah County to continue to pay the upkeep costs of Wapato Jail instead of selling it immediately so that Harbor of Hope could evaluate whether the nonprofit could make an offer on the building.

But on Harbor of Hope’s 2017 tax forms, the organization was nearly $110,000 in the red, due to a more than $100,000 loan that covered expenses while Williams and others raised little more than $8,000. The year before Harbor of Hope reported nearly $130,000 raised — most of it gone by the end of the year due to travel, salary for Mazziotti and payments to contractors.

Read the whole story here.

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It pays well to be a public servant: Portland employees’ salaries frozen because they are higher than justified

In 2018 the city of Portland had more than 9,300 employees. Projections for 2019 go up to over 10,000 employees. As of 2017, Portland had an estimated population of 647,805.

Compare this to other cities:

Seattle: Nearly 10,000 employees with a population of 730,000.
San Francisco: 39,634 employees in 2016 with 884,363 residents as of 2017.
San Diego: As of 2016 they had 11,387 employees with a population of just over 1.4 million.
Fort Worth: 6,195 employees with a population of 874,168.

Whether cities are demorat- or republican-run, there’s always a great paying job in public service…

From Oregon Live: More than 1,200 city of Portland employees have had their pay frozen because their salaries are higher than what human resources officials determined are “justified.”

Among them are more than a dozen bureau directors, including the city’s human resources director and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.

Affected employees were notified by email Thursday. Many of them said they are confused, upset or both.

“We’re hearing frustration and disappointment with how information is being rolled out,” said Sonia Schmanski, chief of staff for Commissioner Nick Fish. “People are getting emails they don’t understand, and they have both concerns and questions.”

The pay freeze for roughly 70 percent of the city’s non-unionized workers – meaning they’ll get no merit or cost-of-living raises until further notice – is one of the first consequences of a new state law mandating greater pay equity.

The gist of the law, which took effect January 1, is that employees with similar backgrounds who do similar work have to be paid equally or they can recover outsized legal damages. The law is intended to protect women, minorities and other groups that have historically been found to get smaller salaries than others doing similar jobs.

To fix any inequities, employers may only raise the pay of workers found to be underpaid, not dole out pay cuts to those on the high side.

As a result, the city notified more than 500 employees Thursday that they will receive a raise. The increases in hourly pay ranged from as little as 1 cent to $16.32.

The city also froze the pay of about 850 workers at the level they were paid in 2018.

And, for about 350 workers, it did both. They got a raise — and at the same time were notified they had been pushed above the “justified” pay range, meaning a raise and pay freeze all at once.

The messages caused outrage among managers citywide and anxiety in the ranks, according to several city employees who witnessed bosses and coworkers fretting over the notices.

Officials never intended to imply that people are overpaid, said Serilda Summers-McGee, director of the Bureau of Human Resources. (Summers-McGee was one of the bureau directors whose pay was deemed above what is justified and subsequently frozen.) “That is the way that some folks are interpreting that language,” she said, “and it is something that the city of Portland is going to have to remedy in communications moving forward.”

High-ranking managers called out as being paid more than is justified include the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, the city economist, the spokespeople for numerous city bureaus and two of the assistant police chiefs, among many others.

Human resources officials will meet with the City Council on Tuesday to discuss the pay equity law, Summers-McGee said. It’s unclear what actions, if any, the council may be considering. It’s also an open question how the pay equity law will affect the city budget, said Jessica Kinard, interim City Budget Office director.

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Apparently public warning signs that brick Portland buildings could collapse in an earthquake reinforce gentrification

I got nothing. I can’t keep up with all the racist and white supremacy (even though I’m undoubtedly labeled both) tactics. You’ll have to decipher this story on your own.

As reported by Oregon Live, public safety messages are now deemed racist.

From their story: The Portland branch of the NAACP is jumping into a fight over a city policy that will require owners of brick buildings to post public warnings that the buildings could collapse in an earthquake.

The civil rights group said Thursday it would hold a rally Saturday on the steps of City Hall urging the city to drop the ordinance, which affects about 1,600 buildings throughout the city. Its leader said the policy, approved by the City Council in October, would reinforce gentrification in historically black segments of North and Northeast Portland.

The policy “exacerbates a long history of systemic and structural betrayals of trust and policies of displacement, demolition, and dispossession predicated on classism, racism, and white supremacy,” the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in a statement.

The signs were to go up in publicly owned buildings by Tuesday. If the ordinance remains in effect, most other buildings will be required to post the signs by March 1, but churches and nonprofit organizations would have two years to comply.

Leaders of predominantly black churches affected by the ordinance castigated the city in June as the City Council discussed requiring seismic upgrades over a 20-year timeline. Pastors said then that they had been left out of talks while the ordinance was drafted, and the NAACP said the black community was similarly were left out of the discussion over the placarding ordinance.

“It speaks to our houses of worship and everything about the black presence in the North-Northeast area,” said the Rev. E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland NAACP chapter and a pastor at Celebration Tabernacle Church in North Portland. “As usual, the African American community is the first affected and the last informed.”

Other owners of brick and concrete buildings also have objected to the ordinance, saying it would drive away tenants and customers and make it harder to pay for upgrades in the long run.

The ordinance would require building owners to prominently post signs with the disclosure: “This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.”

The same warning would be distributed to tenants of the buildings, and the owner must file a record of compliance among county property records.

The NAACP and other building owners have said the compliance record will make it difficult for building owners to secure loans, discouraging investment in the structures. Ultimately they would be forced to sell, the group argued, and the buildings would likely be demolished and redeveloped.

Read the whole story here.

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