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Friday, June 24, 2011

The Best of Sam Adams' Voicemail!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 11:29 AM

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Since last fall, I've made it a tradition to periodically request the voicemails left for Mayor Sam Adams' community advocate—basically the clearing house for citizen rants and raves. From the pages and pages of volunteer-typed transcripts, Denis C. Theriault and I culled the most insightful and most insane messages. The ones from last year and Februrary were pretty good, but this March—June batch really takes it up a notch.

Get ready for some citizen input about telepathy, black people, "gender transplant" surgery, naked bike riding, and why a woman hasn't had sex in 14 years!

I'll put the first couple above the cut, scroll through the rest below:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 4:26 p.m., unidentified female
Hi: I’m calling to tell you that I think this ban on plastic bags is ridiculous. How is a disabled person who has trouble with their hands supposed to carry a wet paper bag up a flight of stairs without the bag tearing and everything going all over the place?

Thursday, February 10, 2011, 1:43 p.m., unidentified male
Hi: I’m calling in response to the Tribune’s huge article about Crack Alley in Old Town. The fact is, if you go down there at 5:00 in the morning, or actually any time of day, they’re black, okay. I said it, oh my god, they’re black! These are the people that will hang out for hours and hours and hours, all day on end, looking up and down the block; and I’m tired of hearing this garbage to avoid the point: they’re black, okay! I’m not anti-black — not at all. But, the fact is, and I’ll say it again: you go down there, they’re black — period!

Thursday, February 10, 2011, 9:55 a.m., unidentified female
I guess I’m calling after hours. I’m really disturbed about something I’ve just seen in the newspaper. It’s just very, very disturbing and distressing. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the family involved. I’m speaking of Anthony McDowell, who was shot and killed, I’m not sure what day, by Gresham police… This is a war veteran. Even if he was not a war veteran, every life counts! I would be happy if Sam Adams can listen to my message. I’m sure he’s a very, very decent person and that he is as distraught this as I am. Therefore, please wear the pants, get out there, and let everybody know who’s in charge! Sam, YOU are in charge, and the Police Chief should answer to YOU. Someone should be accountable. I do not want to hear anybody come up with lame excuses like, “It appears this. It appears that.” This is nonsense! And it has to stop NOW.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 10:44 a.m., Aisha
Hello: Happy Valentines Day; and please do not join the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 10:45 a.m., Rosemary
[She’s a fan of Bob Salinger… She then rambles on about the chauvinism of the wealthy Oregonians who live in the Pearl and how they look down on her as not being wealthy enough for the neighborhood.]

Friday, February 18, 2011, 8:38 a.m., Rosemary
[Rosemary is looking forward to the State of the City speech. She hopes the Mayor runs again. She did not like the NPR program about the youthful immigration to Portland for the heavy metal rock scene, and that they are sitting on the sidewalks. She found it nauseating. She hopes you address these things in your speech.]


Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 10:23, Rosemary
[Rosemary enjoyed the mayor’s speech to the City Club. She also appreciated you mentioning the people who live on $1,000 a month and who have to pay for everything. She mentions that your struggle in your difficult youth helped your compassion. She did not like you mentioning your boyfriend because it would be political suicide. It isn’t relevant to the speech. She thinks you should mention more about race and class.]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 4:17 p.m. unidentified female
Howdy. I suggest that you put a gambling casino in downtown Portland. They have them in Reno, you know, and it seems to work out for them. And, then you could use the money for things are dear to my heart, like school lunches and for poor kids. You know, if you don’t have fatty acids, like from flax seed oil - that really boosts your brain power. So, children have to have real food. So, yeah, I think that’s what you should do.

Thursday, February 24, 2011, 9:49 a.m., Rosemary
[The Clean and Safe folks are wearing ear phones and they can’t hear her when she calls out to them. She has to go up to them and tap them on the shoulder. Do something about it.]


Friday, February 25, 2011, 11:18 a.m., Robert
Hello: Recently I had no garbage pickup, so I dialed 823-4000. They, in turn, referred me to a number, 823-7202. That number you couldn’t even put your ear to the phone. And, the music that they were playing was rap music - filthy and disgusting. You know, if that’s a reflection of the Mayor, then so be it. But, he will not be around next time… I mean, come on. You guys can do better than that. I mean, why don’t you just put on Lars Larson or something, you know? We’ll see you later. Bye.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 10:11 a.m., Semetra
I want you to help me out right now. I need to get out of Portland. I’ve been here for three months missing my life, missing my husband, missing my daughter, missing my cat, and I want out. I’ve been through enough. I’ve done it all. I’ve been there, done that, bought the cookies. Sam, I’ve done it. I want to go home and sit on my porch swing and smoke a Drum cigarette today because I haven’t smoked in three months. That’s my little vice, Sam. We all have our little vices. I haven’t had sex in 14 years, by the way. So, that’s not my vice right now. But, I’d enjoy a little roll in the hay, if you know what I mean, with my husband some day. So, Sam, see what you can do, okay? I love you Sam. Take it easy. Take a nice roll for me, okay? I like cinnamon rolls, Sam. That’s one of my vices. I’m a little bit diabetic. Take it easy, Sam. Bye.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 8:47 a.m., unidentified male
The problem of panhandling is growing - and growing by leaps and bounds… Practically every time I walk down the street, I’ve got somebody wheedling and begging me and coming up with lame excuses and demanding spare change. … As far as the Mayor is concerned, get off your fanny and do something about it! I’m getting tired of walking down the street and being bothered by these human slime. That’s harsh, but that’s the way they are.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 12:59 p.m., unidentified female
Yes: I just heard your comments, Mayor, about how Portland has too many guns. And, that’s just as stupid as saying Portland has too many gay people. It just really makes no sense. So, please think before you speak. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 8:50 a.m., unidentified male
Hey, Valium Breath: You’re still there! Hey, listen, it makes perfect sense to me that Adams wouldn’t want Neil Goldschmidt’s picture down. You ought to start a HALL of pedophiles. And, this is still early enough in the Rose Festival celebration to start the Glory Hole Celebration.

Thursday, March 17, 2011, 2:19 p.m., Margaret
What I’m calling about is the Timbers parking. I live at NW 17th and Everett. They are destroying our neighborhood. They don’t necessarily do other things in the neighborhood other than drink and destroy the neighborhood. I’ve been propositioned for prostitution up to 20 times in an hour while I’m weeding my flower beds - and I’m a grandmother. That’s disgusting. They urinate all over everything rather than use the bathroom at the Park. They throw trash all over the neighborhood. I’m begging you - consider the neighbors in NW. We pay a lot of money to live on this side of Burnside. If you have any questions, contact me

Friday, March 18, 2011, 9:38 a.m., Larry,
Get this fucking bridge lifted because it’s costing us a shitload of money as taxpayers and regular people to cross this goddamn bridge every goddamn day. These damn people shouldn’t do this during rush hour. Fucking get a handle! Jesus Christ! They should not be able to do this during the day! We need to cr0ss!! Oregon, Washington: we need to cross!! Fuckin’, stop this bullshit, goddamn it!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 8:109 a.m., Mike
My opinion is, the City of Portland should not steal my cars. Last night about 5:00 O’clock the City of Portland had my car towed claiming it was an abandoned auto. It is not abandoned. That is my car. It needs to be returned to me. You are violating my civil rights. Please give me a call. Help me get my car back. Thank you. Bye.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 9:10 a.m., Rosemary
[Rosemary is at Tanner Spring Park. She’s worried about wildlife down there being harassed by kids, etc. The wetlands and the grasslands need to be better protected].

Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 1:37 p.m., Cobina
Hi, Mayor Sam Adams: I was calling because my kid, this little cousin, Yawshanee Vaughn, is missing. But, then we called the police and the police said the couldn’t take an official report because she has a criminal record. She is 14-years-old and we don’t have any idea where she is. She’s been missing since Saturday. Her pictures are all over Face Book and people have been passing out flyers throughout the Portland, Oregon area. So, we are asking for your help that you please ask them to put out an Amber Alert. Again, the family is asking for help and nobody’s helping them. And, we don’t even know the procedures for the Amber Alert whatsoever. We went to the news and everything. The police is refusing to help due to the fact that the little girl has a criminal record; but she still is a minor.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 4:10 p.m., unidentified male
Yeah: I’m calling about today’s article on the water bureau and their over-spending on terrible things. Anyway, it’s just out of control with you guys. And, look at Leonard’s comments. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass. You guys can’t be trusted. So, Sam, do the right thing. Put Randy Leonard back in his place. Put him back in his shoe box where he belongs. You guys just spend, spend, spend, and you over-spend. You know, that I can’t make enough money for all the spending you guys do? I mean, not even my kids will make enough money for all the spending and debt. So, just stop it, Sam!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 8:47 a.m., Randi
I’m calling in regards to the canine dog, Caine, that has been killed in the line of duty. I’m hearing that the guy that killed him is only going to get animal cruelty - maybe a little bit higher. THAT DOG WAS AN OFFICER! I think that this guy should get just as if he killed a police officer. This is wrong.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 4:54 p.m., unidentified male
Yeah: I disagree with you lowering the flags to half-staff for the African girl that is missing and presumed dead. I think that’s terrible. It should only be for service people or dignitaries. This is carrying things a little too far. Thank you.

Friday, April 8, 2011, 9:59 a.m., unidentified male
Yeah: First of all, I’m amazed at your message system, because, Mayor, you are in the bathroom blowing a kid. That’s called sucking off; and I hope this actually gets to you. But, that’s not actually what I’m calling about. We’ve got potholes from the Marriot to down below before you ever get out on I-5, which is called the Marina. You are the Mayor. You are supposed to be running the City. You’re not doing a good job. Take care of the potholes!

Monday, April 11, 2011, 9:55 a.m., Hugo
[Hugo is wondering whether the Mayor is aware of sleep disturbances associated with the CIA and wonders whether it is in the domain of the Mayor, the district attorney, or whatever].

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 9:18 a.m., Rosemary Devaney
[Rosemary is still concerned about the Duck over at Tanner Springs Park. She’s worried about the skateboarders and bicyclists on the sidewalk and railroad ties. She says the ducks are frightened. There is also an unsupervised toddler bothering the ducks.]

Thursday, April 21, 2011, 11:32 a.m., unidentified male
Sam Adams: Hello, sir. If you had a piece of paper with my grandfather’s picture on it you could trade it with 305 pounds of fine gold. Repeat that: If you had a piece of paper with my grandfather’s picture on it, there’s only one piece of paper in the world worth anything.

Thursday, April 21, 2011, 3:44 p.m., Karen
When something is working great, why change it and then turn back around and have to change it back? For example, the drug-free zones worked great in the past. The prostitution-free zones used to worked great in the past. And, oh, they had to be changed because the majority of the people have to put up with this type of stuff because other people, you know, want to do drugs and sprawl out on the sidewalks where we have to walk over them.

Monday, April 25, 2011, 10:24 a.m., Constance
Listen, this is so very important; you’ve got to vote ‘no’ for JTTF. I’m a mother, a grandmother, and great-grandmother, and I will be in serious trouble if it comes to town because I have friends who are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, agnostic, and maybe even some atheists! I have a dangerous weapon, which is commonly known as a keyboard, which I use daily to sign petitions to protest so-called wars, to advocate for the environment. I’m an animal rights activist. My god, I’m guilty of every single thing that is listed; and I’m just a 77-year-old woman crippled up with polio. It’s absurd! It’s absurd! We will be, WE, the citizens of this city, will be the victims of this. PLEASE, let’s keep Portland weird! Anyway, please, please, PLEASE protect us, okay?!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 9:26 a.m., Hugo
[Hugo is still of the belief that he is under surveillance by various government agencies from Arizona to San Francisco to Oregon. Senator McCain is also involved].

Friday, May 13, 2011, 4:42 p.m., unidentified male
Yes: I heard on the radio with some admiration that once again the geniuses that run the city are thinking of having automobiles shut their engines off if they have to wait over ten seconds. The chief cause of traffic jams where I might have to shut my engine down (by the way, I won’t) is for construction projects by the City. They’re the biggest single cause of traffic jams downtown, between the Toonerville Trolley the ‘Goldshit’ Express, which I lovingly call it that wends its way all over… The second biggest impediment to traffic downtown is probably a toss up between the bicycles, so the bicycle fairies can get around, and all the private construction projects — but since in your downtown there are very few of the latter — you’re probably going to side with them. So, YOU want ME to shut MY engine off of MY car when I come downtown to give money to businesses down there so that you can further basically inconvenience ME — the motorist.

Monday, May 16, 2011, 9:40 a.m., unidentified youngster
Yes, yes: I have this field trip and we were wondering what community services you do around the Portland area.

Monday, May 16, 2011, 9:44 a.m., unidentified sobbing female
[Mostly unintelligible sobbing about ‘them’ taking her dog to the pound. They were there at about 8:30 p.m. last night. She went to work. She was going to give the dog to her granddaughter. She got home about 2:30 a.m. and found the dog gone. She doesn’t know where she’s going to get $207 (or something along those lines)].

Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 1:13 p.m., Jessica
Hi: I read Joe Rose’s cover story in the Oregonian today that claims that the Mayor is increasing bike funding to 17%, though, when you read carefully, you see that’s not a PDOT budget. So, now you’re going to get a total avalanche of calls from people who hate bikes; and I wanted to let you know that I, for one, and my family, including my 1 ½ - year-old son, very much appreciate the increase in funding spent on making Portland safer for people who bike. I hope you get lots of calls from people like me to counterbalance the people who are frothing at the mouth. That’s all. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 11:06 a.m., unidentified male
Yeah: I just read, Sam, that you’re going to increase from 4% to 17% of the amount of money that’s being spent on bike projects instead of roads. That’s typical, and you’re crowing about some phony company moving here, Solarpower, with green jobs that takes a half million dollars that it takes to subsidize these people to create one job. You’re so full of SHIT, you little whack-job liberal weenie. Eat shit and die!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 2:14 p.m., unidentified male
Yeah: I’m wondering who is city government is willing to stand up to the police union and put a stop to the nonsense that they continue to endorse. I mean, whether it’s beating up mentally ill people or shooting people who are unarmed in a parked car or, now, this training incident with Lindsey; I mean, who in government in this city stands up to the police union and says, “Enough, your behavior is way out of line?”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 11:36 a.m., Browne
I’m calling to complain about your suggestion that the City Council should okay surgery for transition from one sex to the other. Next, are you going to let every member on the City Council to have their face redone? If you can get one part of their body taken care of, why not everybody have a facelift?

Thursday, June 9, 2011, 9:41 a.m., unidentified male
Yeah: I feel sorry for people who feel they need a gender transplant so they can be normal and healthy and everything, but, my god, don’t take it out of my pocket. You’re pretty liberal with other peoples’ money.

Thursday, June 9, 2011, 9:42 a.m., unidentified male
I have 38 employees within the city limits of Portland, Oregon. As soon as my lease is up I will be moving out of the City of Portland. Any city that passes a transgender thing - or whatever you call it in the City of Portland has just lost 38 employees to another county — maybe another state, maybe another town, Vancouver, or anything. This is the most ridiculous, RIDICULOUS, thing I ever heard!! Sam Adams ought to put his wig back on — his damn hair wig back on - and go down there with all the rest of those damn people down there. Thirty-eight employees he’s just lost as soon as the lease is up. Thank you.

Friday, June 10, 2011, 1:45 p.m., Norma
Hello: I have an electric bill, my electricity is going to be turned off, that I cannot pay, because I’m sick. I’m sorry. I’ve got cancer, and everything is coming down on me at one time and I don’t have the money to pay my electricity [sobbing] and I need help and I don’t know where to go. PLEASE give me a call back. Thank you.


Monday, June 13, 2011, 10:43 a.m., Rosemary
[Rosemary is sitting in the rain at Tanner Springs Park looking at a blue heron. She’s still unhappy with the poor response she’s getting about the harassment of wildlife by women and their children in the area. She is having problems with a woman who has just given her the finger just as Rosemary told her she was on the phone and calling the Mayor about this problem].

Monday, June 13, 2011, 10:46 a.m. Susan
My mom’s been getting synthetic telepathy. This is cognizant of electro-magnetic weapons being used against our home. My kid is here to help me. Our life is being destroyed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:01 a.m., unidentified female
It is truly heartbreaking to read in the Oregonian to read about the needless slaughter of six beautiful old 100-year-old oak trees. My question is: How many dumb, idiotic, brain-dead, empty-headed asshole bureaucrats does it take to come to a decision that did not need to happen?! Bureaucracy at its worst! Six trees are dead; six trees that graced the city with beauty, provided homes for birds, cleaned the air, provided grace and elegance — and now they’re DEAD. They’re MURDERED and they’re SLAUGHTERED! What a bunch of FUCKING assholes!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 3:49 p.m., Michael
Good Afternoon: I have been a Portland resident and Oregonian all my life. I’m 51; and I am just disappointed in the allowance of the nudity with this Portland bike ride thing — the naked bike ride. I know that it’s been going on for two years, and I didn’t call and complain last year, and I should have; but, this years, being how it was allowed — especially in the day time? You know, if we want to keep our city a reputable city and have morality and nudity flagrant, that’s certainly a way to do it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 9:12 a.m., Rosemary
[A cop that hangs around Starbucks at 11th Lovejoy was removing laundry from the dryer. She wants to know if he lives there. The manager couldn’t tell her.]

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