If you're not reading this from the illegal backseat of your personal Uber chauffeur, you're certainly aware the popular car-share service has mounted an incursion on Portland against the wishes of city officials (and local cabbies).
The city's working up any strategy it can think of to shut that down, arguing Uber's not properly regulated and could pose safety threats. That might involve a civil action against Uber, but right now it mostly seems to include city enforcers trying to issue hefty fines against Uber drivers (the company has said it will fight those fines). The Portland Bureau of Transportation is going to release information about how many citations its issued later today.
Until then, it's poll time!
That's what happened yesterday when B. Scott released an excellent tirade against the moral decline of this city based on his experience buying a sandwich at Safeway (the one in the Pearl, natch. He's an Internet millionaire, remember?). While there, he watched a "street kid" who "could be a tweeker, but not obvious" steal a dollar's worth of chicken wings—among other skills, his years of millionairing have taught him how to spot tweekers, even the not-obvious ones.
The chicken was just a symptom of a greater problem, and B. has no problem jumping from there to the "hellhole" that was New York City in 80s. If you lived there/then, as B. reminds us, you know these truths:
1. If you rode the subways you would get mugged.
2. If you parked your car on the street it would get broken into. If you left it there for more than a day, you wanted it to get stolen.
3. If you walked in Central Park at night as a female you were going to get raped.
If private businesses continue to ignore petty chicken theft, it's only a matter of time before our precious Pearl District has a 100% crime rate like New York had.
Scotty B. investigated the root of New York's magical turnaround: he once asked a police officer what caused the drop in crime and, shockingly, that guy credited the police! Sure, the Broken Windows theory of criminology is highly contentious and used to back racist policies. And sure, other theories vary widely including the idea that lead paint caused the crime (I asked a painter and he said it was definitely that). But I believe Broseph S. T.—he's made a lot of money and lived in at least two cities.
Portlanders, we can't just stand by while this terrible scourge destroys our great condo developments! If you don't act now and beat up a street kid, you may end up saying, "I didn't speak up when they came for our chicken wings, because I don't eat chicken wings. But then they came for my free side of chips and I didn't say anything because the non-obvious tweekers had taken over the Pearl and were aggressively marginalizing millionaires like me." It's time to stand up and fight back.
This is sickening, awful news, for artists to come this far from home and be robbed while in our city. If you know anything at all, or have any info about how to recover the bag that contains these belongings, please contact the band at the email address of hello at spinningtopmusic dot com and no questions will be asked. They're even offering a cash reward—that's how important the stolen items are. Here is the post that Pond put on Facebook earlier today:
Hey Portland!! We had a pelican bag of gear stolen from our van ..
If ANYONE knows ANYTHING we're willing to offer a CASH REWARD for any information - we're desperate for the hard drives as they have countless hours of music and effort stored!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE spread the word and talk to your mates and let us know how you go ..
(Ps. no questions asked for anyone with any info or esp if they can come up with goods)
There will be tours and refreshments and local dignitaries, the PPB said in a news release sent out this morning. What the bureau didn't mention, until another release a few moments ago, is that they've had some difficulties with the site this week.
Turns out a guy named Sean Michael Kearney (allegedly) decided to pluck some of the center's taxpayer-funded treasure (well, some metal panelling waiting to be installed) before the place was swarming with cops. And the bureau needed barely any of the training officers will receive at the facility to get the stuff back. From the release:
On Monday September 15, 2014, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a suspect stole several thousand dollars worth of metal panels to be used as the entry facade to the new Portland Police Training Complex, located at 14902 Northeast Airport Way.
A North Precinct detective was able to obtain surveillance video of the suspect vehicle, which was a fairly distinct looking Chevy S-10 pick-up truck.
On Wednesday September 17, 2014, the detective spotted the vehicle as it drove by him on his way home. Uniform officers were called to stop the vehicle and the suspect was arrested without incident.
The detective continued to investigate and late last night recovered all of the stolen metal but it is unlikely it can be used at the Training Complex as some of it has been damaged.
Many of us have been tracking the story of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice and his wife Janay Rice over the last few days. But if you haven't, it's a good jumping off point for talking about domestic violence—a conversation that, like one on many touchy topics, people seem to have a really hard time with. Here are some places to start reading if you're still catching up:
Amy Davidson at the New Yorker on "What the Ray Rice Video Really Shows":
On Monday, a video of Ray Rice, the Ravens running back, punching his then fiancée in the head and leaving her slumped on the floor of an elevator, was released on TMZ. It was greeted with shock. By the early afternoon, the Ravens tweeted that they were terminating Rice’s contract. That is an appropriate response, except for one thing: we’ve known for months that Rice had hit Janay Palmer and left her unconscious; there had been a video already, of him dragging her inert body out of the elevator in a hotel in Atlantic City. And yet, somehow, the video from inside the elevator was not what some purportedly well-informed observers expected. The N.F.L. had investigated the incident, after all, and only suspended Rice for two games; that didn’t fit with the pictures on the screen. But what did people think it looked like when a football player knocked out a much smaller woman? Like a fair fight?
Barry Petchesky at Deadspin says "Someone Is Lying About Whether The NFL Saw The Ray Rice Tape":
Privately, top reporters were told in no uncertain terms that the video existed, that the NFL had seen it, that it showed Janay Palmer acting violently toward Rice, and that, if released, it would go some way toward mitigating the anger against him. One of the league's most devoted mouthpieces described the video for us on an off-the-record basis, going off what his sources had told him. The implication was clear: If you saw this video, you'd know why Rice only got [suspended for] two games.
Now that the video's out, the NFL and the Ravens are reversing course.
The Onion brings the cry-laugh:
Following public outcry over his mishandling of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s aggravated assault of his then-fiancée, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that the league has adopted a new zero-tolerance policy toward all videotaped domestic abuse. “We hold our players to the highest standards both as professional athletes and as people, so any violence toward women that is recorded, authenticated, and then publicly distributed will be met with an automatic suspension and fine,” said Goodell, adding that the new, stricter guidelines reflect the league’s hard-line stance against any spousal abuse that is clearly and irrefutably captured on film.
Most importantly, though, this case has brought up the age-old question—and I beg you not to fall into this stupid thinking trap, but the question is out there, so let's address it—of "Why does she stay?" The woman Rice is shown savaging in this grainy video went on to marry him afterward. She's released a statement decrying the media focus on the case. In response to a regular narrative coursing through media and across the internet of people questioning why people stay in abusive relationships, a Twitter hashtag popped up: #WhyIStayed.
If you're asking that question at all, you should take the time to go read that hashtag, in which a parade of abuse survivors give their reasons for "staying." It's an example of what Twitter is best at: giving a voice to people, letting them speak for themselves, and amplifying lots of small voices into a large conversation. It's tough to read. But when that stream of terror and manipulation and sadness gets to be too much, go check out #WhenILeft.
Helt, the homeless 22-year-old aspiring model from Salem who accepted Miley Cyrus' MTV Video Music Award on Sunday night, surrendered to Polk County Police yesterday and was later released on bail. After Helt's appearance at the VMAs, it was reported that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest because he broke the terms his parole, stemming from his arrest following an incident in which he broke into a weed dealer's apartment after the dealer sold him some bad weed.
The Oregonian reports that Cyrus gave Helt some money to fly home and visit his mother. Upon his arrival back in Oregon, Helt turned himself in and was released on a $2,500 bail. He'll appear in Polk County Circuit Court on September 16.
Now let us never speak of this again.
"Over two fucking sodas," says a witness who caught the incident, which occurred on Tuesday, on camera. Twenty-three-year-old Kajieme Powell, who is alleged to have stolen a few drinks and pastries from a nearby store, reportedly had a history of mental illness. This video, released by the police, is not easy to watch:
This man needed help. He had a knife, but he also, clearly, had an illness. After watching the video, Vox's Amanda Taub said, "I keep thinking about the times when I have called 911 because I have encountered a mentally ill person in public who seems unsafe. I don't know how I would live with it if this had been the result." There has to have been a way that police could have protected Kajieme Powell rather than killed him.
But I watched him because human frustration can be amusing and because he seemed just a tiny bit squirrely. After a couple minutes he managed to get the door open and when the alarm went off, he dove across the seats, rifled through the center console and glove box and then ran off. That part took maybe 15 seconds and then I realized I could only identify the squirrely thief's backpack and that wouldn't' be much help to anybody.
I caught the owner of the car (who came running to shut his alarm off) and he didn't think anything was missing, rendering me completely and totally blameless. But I still wonder if there was something that I could have done differently. Every time somebody locks their keys in their car, should they have the cops called on them? They seems like a good way to ruin an innocent person's day. And I can't really confront somebody and say "prove this is your vehicle." What do you think? Is there something else to be done?
Also keep your windows rolled up. I know it's hot but criminals no longer fear the sun.
It's nearly June, and Portland's gang violence is heating up again. According to numbers released today by the city's Office of Youth Violence Prevention, Portland's seen 50 gang-related attacks so far in 2014, compared to 34 at the same time last year.
It's disheartening sign, obviously, for the people and organizations working against gang violence. As the Mercury reported last year, the city's seen a perplexing and worrisome uptick in gang-related attacks in recent years. Those incidents have increasingly moved from the old hotbed of north and inner northeast Portland. These days, gang cops spend just as much time patrolling east Portland. Gresham's seen increased violence, too.
"In 2014 to date, victims of violent crimes have been injured and traumatized, community members have been endangered, witnesses have been intimidated, and families have fallen victim to associated trauma," reads an e-mail sent out today by Tom Peavey, a former gang cop and current policy manager for the Office of Youth Violence Prevention. "As the weather improves in combination with pending seasonal events, school graduation and summer vacation for school age youth, we need to have an active VOICE in sponsorship of safe environments for our youth, families and all members of our community."
In 2012, Portland cops dealt with 118 attacks, the most officers remembered seeing in nearly two decades. While that number fell in 2013, last year—particularly the tail end—actually saw more actual gunshot and stabbing victims. To get a better handle on the dynamics of Portland's gang culture, local governments are in the midst of studying the problem afresh.
The next meeting of the city's Gang Violence Task Force is at 10 a.m. June 6, at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct.
One in five college-age women have been sexually assaulted—but that doesn't mean one in five college-age men are rapists. Amanda Marcotte:
No one is saying that the high rates of victimization among college women mean that all men are rapists. That one in five college women have been assaulted doesn't mean that one in five men are assailants. Far from it. A study published in 2002 by David Lisak and Paul Miller, for which they interviewed college men about their sexual histories, found that only about six percent of the men surveyed had attempted or successfully raped someone. While some of them only tried once, most of the rapists were repeat offenders, with each committing an average of 5.8 rapes a piece. The six percent of men who were rapists were generally violent men, as well. "The 120 rapists were responsible for 1,225 separate acts of interpersonal violence, including rape, battery, and child physical and sexual abuse," the researchers write. A single rapist can leave a wake of victims, racking up the numbers rapidly, as the victim surveys are clearly showing.
This cannot be emphasized enough: The high rates of campus sexual assault are due mostly to a small percentage of men who assault multiple women. Understanding this makes the problem of sexual assault on campus much less overwhelming and, hopefully, easier to accept and address. Women aren't running a gauntlet of would-be rapists when they go to a party or go out on dates. Most men they encounter are perfectly safe. This issue isn't about demonizing men as a group or scaring women into thinking men are inherently dangerous. The issue here is about eradicating the small group of predators on campuses that are continually getting away with their crimes.
Another stat that we're just starting to wrap our heads around: men are often the victims of rape—it also happens to our sons and brothers—and the rapists are often women.
So she's suing the boy she killed and that boy's family and the other boys she ran over. Toronto Sun:
Brandon was struck from behind by an SUV and killed while his friend Richard McLean, 16, was seriously injured with a broken pelvis and other bones. His other pal Jake Roberts, 16, was knocked off his bike but sustained only scratches. Now the driver of the SUV, Sharlene Simon, 42, a mother of three, formerly from Innisfil, is suing the dead boy for the emotional trauma she says she has suffered. She’s also suing the two other boys, as well as the dead boy’s parents, and even his brother, who has since died. She’s also suing the County of Simcoe for failing to maintain the road....
In a statement of claim filed with the court, Simon is claiming $1.35 million in damages due to her psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress. She blames the boys for negligence. “They did not apply their brakes properly,” the claim states. “They were incompetent bicyclists.”
She runs over three boys on bikes and they're the dangerous incompetents who didn't "apply their brakes properly."
From the New York Times:
The Senate on Thursday rejected a controversial bipartisan bill to remove military commanders from decisions over the prosecution of sexual assault cases in the armed forces, delivering a defeat to advocacy groups who argued that wholesale changes are necessary to combat an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults in the military.
The measure, pushed by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, received 55 votes—five short of the 60 votes needed for advancement to a floor vote—after Ms. Gillibrand’s fellow Democrat, Senator Clare McCaskill of Missouri, led the charge to block its advancement. The vote came after a debate on the Senate floor filled with drama and accusations that Ms. Gillibrand and her allies were misguided...
Several Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, supported the Gillibrand proposal, and expressed deep frustration with the military’s failure to stem the number of sexual assaults. Congress began scrutinizing the sexual assault problem in the military after a recent series of highly publicized cases, including one at the Naval Academy, and after the release of new data from the Pentagon on the issue. On Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the last fiscal year, about 1,600 sexual assault cases in the military were either awaiting action from commanders or the completion of a criminal investigation.
Critics of the military’s handling of such cases say that the official numbers represent a tiny percentage of sexual assault cases, while Ms. Gillibrand said that only one in 10 sexual assault cases were reported. She and her supporters argue that forcing sexual assault victims to go to their commanders to report cases is similar to forcing a woman to tell her father that her brother has sexually assaulted her.
Because commanders often know both the victims and the alleged abusers, Ms. Gillibrand’s supporters say, victims often shy away from reporting abuse. Military commanders, they say, have not proven themselves able to deal with the issue.
I'm so angry I can't actually process it effectively enough even to RANT about it. This shit is unacceptable.
Woody Allen's friend Robert B. Weide rushes to his defense in The Daily Beast by—you guessed it—attacking the credibility of Dylan Farrow, who accused him of molesting her as a child in an open letter last week, and her mother, actress Mia Farrow.
This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.
If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.
The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assume she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.
Allen's response so far? His publicist issued a statement on Sunday calling the allegations "untrue and disgraceful," and his lawyer calls it "a story engineered by a vengeful lover."
A Montana judge says he doesn't deserve to lose his job for commenting that a 14-year-old rape victim appeared "older than her chronological age" when he sentenced her teacher-rapist to just a month in prison.
Let me restate: District Judge G. Todd Baugh, who is 72, thinks that implying a rape victim deserved to be raped because she looked like a grown woman isn't cause for losing his job. The rape victim wasn't available for comment because she committed suicide before the trial began. Baugh, who whined about his status as "kind of a lightning rod" due to the case, also said in a letter to the Judicial Standards Commission that the rapist has recently demonstrated "morally good conduct."
There are many alarming things in this news story of a Kenyan man who "defiles" (has sex with) a "she-goat." But the most alarmig thing is that the she-goat was actually present in the courtroom. Okay, maybe that's not the most alarming thing. BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY ALARMING THINGS!!!
More information here, if you're that kind of person.
A buddy of mine got his car stolen a few months ago. Over the weekend, the police called and said they found it and it was waiting for him. It hadn't been wrecked, but it was out of gas and entirely filled with trash from the joyriders. We carefully cataloged all the trash as we cleaned it out and now YOU get to play detective. Who was it who stole this car?
Obviously we've got somebody living a pretty confusing life. He's writing a screenplay about the life of Jesus while admiring (or wearing) a pony tail butt plug. Somebody is in a tutu. Stay tuned after the jump for the rest (and trust me, it gets even better).
Comes from Crooks & Liars:
Florida Man Cites 'Bush Doctrine' After Pre-emptive Killing of Neighbors at Labor Day Cookout
And yes, that is exactly what it sounds like:
In their motion, Woodward’s attorneys claimed that the victims had called him names and threatened to "get him."
The motion referenced Enoch V. State, which suggests that an "imminent" threat can include something that is likely to occur at sometime in the future.
It may not take hold with this case, but the Bush Doctrine is the logical next step after Stand Your Ground: Get them before they get you. Imagine a future like Minority Report, only instead of Tom Cruise enforcing pre-crime with the help of the world's largest iPad and a hot tub full of psychics, it's just a bunch of average Americans with really strong hunches.
White people who kill black people in 'Stand Your Ground' states are 354 per cent more likely to be found justified in their killing than a white person who kills another white person, according to research.
On Saturday George Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of 17-year old-Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
But he was not arrested for 44 days after the February 26, 2012, shooting as police in Sanford insisted that Florida's Stand Your Ground law on self-defence prohibited them from bringing charges - Florida gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.
John Roman, an analyst at Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, used FBI data for this study.
Tuesday's at the Mercury SUUUUUUCK!
I just type and click, type and click, type and click, fart on Erik the film editor's mouse when he's not looking, type and click, all day until the paper is sent to the printer and I finally get to go home and pet my kitty (knowhattamean?).
Sometimes I just need a break.
Here's how I take a break
Push my whip back (that's my desk chair).
Stand up and walk away from the desk.
Take my clothes off in the office bathroom and put a wetsuit on.
Ask officemates if they want to go with me (no takers, just one gawker with a camera).
Ride the elevator from the 6th floor down to the lobby.
Walk two blocks to Waterfront Park.
Go a little further to the Steel Bridge.
Walk to the halfway point on the lower level of the bridge.
Grab the railing and fling myself off the bridge.
Fall until I think I'm dead.
Come up for air.
Swim to the shore.
Walk back to the office.
Shower in the bathroom.
Put dry clothes back on.
Sit back in my whip.
Get back to work.
This is all probably illegal, so don't do it (Wussy!). [OF COURSE IT'S ILLEGAL, JESUS CHRIST!—editor]
Check out this hilariously awesome car chase using Matchbox-sized cars—and three hip hoorays for whoever did the sound editing on this mini-cinematic masterpiece.
Everybody's talking about last night's very bloody episode of Game of Thrones—particularly the last scene. (Check out our recap here.) HOWEVER! An expert witness in the O.J. Simpson trial, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, tells TMZ that it was a bunch of BAAAAA-LONEY!
"Blood doesn't come out like that."
"If cut deep enough, the right and left carotid artery will spurt a few feet, just like a hose... not this broad blood-flowing out like a waterfall from the whole neck."
He adds, "There would have been squirting from the right or left carotid artery, carotid arteries spurt.”
Baden also says ... the victims wouldn't have died so quickly ... because death from a throat slashing, "takes much longer than that."
Got it. Thanks again for ruining everything, Science! (Read the whole thing here.)
A narrowly divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people arrested but not yet convicted of serious crimes, a tool that more than half the states already use to help crack unsolved crimes..."DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure," [Justice Anthony] Kennedy said. "Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment."
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote an angry dissent for himself and three liberal justices, charging that the decision will lead to an increased use of DNA testing in violation of the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.
This is certainly a power that the government will never manage to misuse, right? This Supreme Court is George W. Bush's most important legacy. For at least a decade to come, the law of the land will continue to be interpreted like it's 2003, when Americans were eager to give up any right as long as they could feel safe.
Craig Mosbaek went to bed Friday night assuming nothing was amiss outside his house near SE 30th and Division, hardly a hotbed of mayhem and trouble. He woke up the next morning to something a little startling and a lot annoying.
His lawn sign endorsing Portland's water fluoridation measure—Mosbaek is a public health consultant, former state official, and occasional volunteer for the campaign—had been torched at some point in the night. It was there when Mosbaek walked his dog around 8 pm Friday. This is what he saw in its place the next day:
"I woke up and went outside and saw the sign wasn't there," he says, "and I looked closer and you could see the ashes on the grass below the sign and a little bit of melted plastic stuck to the metal supports for the sign. I found a pack of matches close to it, too. I figured that's what happened."
Just when you thought leaving it behind at the hospital was the only option for your afterbirth…..
Pretty much everyone in the Oregon Legislature is all about HB2612—a bill that allows postpartum moms to take their placentas home with them.
The thing is, some people have already been taking their disposable organs home, breaking the law without knowing it. “I think this was a huge shock to everyone” says Representative Allisa Keny-Guyer (D) regarding the legality of placenta custody. Patients aren’t allowed to keep “medical waste” of any kind as souvenirs, but many hospitals have been making the exception for placentas because the language of the law is so unclear.
A placenta is the iron-rich sack of flesh that nourishes a baby in the womb. It allows mother and child to trade nutrients for poop (thanks again, Mom!). From the Latin for cake, the placenta is round and flat. Also, most mammals eat them post birth. Some humans do, too. Moms have been known to fry it up like a steak (most likely with some fava beans and a light Chianti), or pay one of several businesses that will cook, dehydrate, and pulverize a placenta, and then put the resulting powder into capsules you can swallow.
Many cultures have rituals and traditions regarding placentas. Some believe eating the self-made nutrients help aid in lactation, boost energy, and aid postpartum depression. It’s also common to bury it and plant a tree on top to represent new life. Apparently you can also make art and jewelry and drums out of it too.
On the Senate floor Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward said “it’s a pretty straightforward bill, it’s safe, let’s do this.” And they did. The measure passed unanimously in the Senate today, following last week’s unanimous approval by the House.
The original bill prohibited selling the placenta, but the amended language puts the guidelines into the hands of the Oregon Health Authority. They can put that part in or not, since they’re in charge of all the logistics of the regulation.
On an equally gross note, today the House Judiciary Committee heard public testimony on a bill that would make spitting on a police officer a felony.
Masked gunman drive in through tight security with military precision, steal millions worth of diamonds, and leave without hurting anybody. The target was perfectly selected (it's hard to feel bad for the diamond industry) and the execution was flawless. It's tough to get 8 people to order pizza without killing each other, so pulling off something like this blows my mind.
I can only hope Benicio Del Toro didn't get hurt transporting the stolen diamonds.
Boston Art Heist
23 years after the greatest art heist of all time, the FBI announced they know who did it but it's too late to do anything about it. For crimes like this (brazen, nobody was injured), I feel like it's a game and the thieves won. If you can elude police past the statute of limitations, you deserve it.
I can only hope Pierce Brosnan is having great sex on an island somewhere to a Nina Simone song.
Helicopter Prison Escape
In Canada of all places, a helicopter landed on a prison roof and lowered a rope to the yard where two men grabbed it and rode it away to freedom. That's the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Even better, within 24 hours, everybody was in police custody and nobody was hurt. The cops won this one despite having to do it on horseback (I assume). It's a great story.
I can only hope Ice Cube wasn't too angry that the helicopter was two minutes late, because that guy can get pretty sassy when he's driving tanks.
|Most Popular||I, Anonymous||Best of the Merc|
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!