I film the police… and you should too

boy taking picture with a cameraThe wail of sirens, flashing red and blue lights, and a speeding police cruiser have shattered many a mellow day of mine lately. I used to assume the best and just get out of the way— but now I’m drawn to police-public encounters.

A training from Portland Copwatch a few years back taught me filming the police is legal in Oregon, as long as you’re not interfering with them. It’s definitely best to know your rights and not be surprised if the police try to intimidate you— as an Oregon woman found during an encounter with Gresham Police last year.

While reading on the grass in Col. Summers Park recently, I had a police cruiser drive past me about ten feet from my head, moving too way fast for comfort. When I walked over to the scene a few minutes later, I found out they were responding to a call about a guy who was naked. This weekend when I was in the Pearl for Pride, PPB responded in haste to a man who had a beer in an ice cream shop. No one was hurt or arrested in either incidents, and both drew a crowd.

Last week I was in Red and Black Cafe, when four officers entered unexpectedly. Two officers were from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and two were from PPB. Red and Black has received local and national press for their policy of excluding police, so the OLCC officers brought PPB officers for their safety, they implied.

From my training (thanks Dan), I remembered to clearly state I wasn’t interfering, and stayed a safe distance away. A “safe distance” is relative, and in a small restaurant, I got pretty close to capture the exchange. I missed the beginning of it, but what I filmed summed up the reason they came fairly succinctly. You can read background on the police and OLCC’s investigation in the video description.

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Neighbors learn about Portland’s residential demolition “epidemic”

photo-19Neighbors have few protections or even notifications for residential demolitions, a vocal and clearly frustrated crowd learned at a panel discussion Wednesday night.

Residential demolition permit applications have surpassed pre-recession levels, said Shawn Wood, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and he expects them to top 300 this year, what would be a record year in Portland. He said that doesn’t even include major renovations, projects that remove less than 100 percent of the current structure and foundation.

Neighbor frustration with demolitions has been well documented, and some changes have been made. A loophole for skipping neighbor notification was narrowed, and Jill Grenda, supervising planner for Bureau of Development Services, said a voluntary demolition notification process is being developed. She said BDS is also adding links on its website about demolition.

“If you come home and a house that used to be next to you is gone, that can be jarring,”  Grenda acknowledged.

Justin Wood, a builder with the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, said the demand for new construction in desirable neighborhoods is driving the demolitions. He said neighbors can go to their elected leaders if they’re not satisfied with the current process, and get involved in the Portland’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, that’s in the process of being updated.

Maxine Fitzpatrick, executive director of Community Reinvestment Initiatives, said the City of Portland has invested a couple hundred million dollars into NE Portland, and as a result about 10,000 African American residents were displaced between 2000 and 2010. The city promised to bring 10 percent of those displaced families back to NE Portland, but she said that promise hasn’t been fulfilled.

Continue reading “Neighbors learn about Portland’s residential demolition “epidemic””

Please, please, please, slow down

You saw the video, right? A 14-year-old student was interviewed after she was hit by a vehicle the across the street from Cleveland High School. On the afternoon of 4/28, Vicktorya Courtney was knocked to the ground by the mid-sized SUV as she crossed Powell at 28th. The driver, a female in her 40s, Courtney said, got out of her car and motioned for her to come over. When Courtney couldn’t get up, because she just got hit by a car, the woman just drove away.

It was a sick and shocking incident that taps too many stereotypes not to be missed by the media: a probably privileged, wealthy driver of gold SUV hits a child and drives away with her lying in the street. In her defense, she was probably late for her pedicure appointment and just couldn’t be bothered. The dramatic incident makes the news, but these kind of incidents are really not that rare: between 4/28 – 5/5 there were 5 injury accidents and 15 hit and runs in Inner SE Portland.

It’s impossible to tell from the statistics (from www.crimereports.com) if these traffic incidents are pedestrian-vehicle or vehicle-vehicle, but it’s obvious many people in this town are running from their responsibility. And it’s also obvious that people are getting hurt nearly every day on the streets of Portland.


This weekend!


Portland’s own “junkbox blues duo” preforms tonight at Doug Fir. 830 E Burnside * 9 pm * $10

Best band name I’ve heard in a while: Ninjas with Syringes, with Poke Da Squid, and Proof 151 at Hawthorne Theater. 1507 SE 39th * 8 pm * $5


Sketchy Saturday brings a live model to One Grand Gallery for a two-hour live model session. Bring your own art supplies, and a RSVP to hello@onegrandgallery.com is encouraged. 1000 E Burnside * 1:30 pm – 3 pm * free

The Scott Law Band is at Goodfoot. 3341 SE Belmont * 9 pm * $10

Hands In, Ali Muhareb & Wavor Clamor Bellow are at The Blue Monk. Apparently, Ali’s leaving town… 3341 SE Belmont * 9 pm * $5

This weekend!


Looks like an interesting, diverse show at The Blue Monk: Cosmic Rose, Steady Riot, Old Growth, Souljourner. The Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont * 9 pm * $5

Tommy Johnagin is at Helium this weekend. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave * Fri 7:30 pm, 10 pm; Sat 7:30 pm, 10 pm * $20


ImageWith roots in Africa, Mississippi, Cuba, Jamaica, Spain, and the Andes, Ojos Feos is playing at Eastburn Saturday. Eastburn, 1800 E Burnside * 10 pm * free

Musicians are twice as likely to be uninsured, and the Jeremy Wilson Foundation is raising money to support musicians during a medical crisis. Jeremy Wilson, Eyelids, Pete Krebs & His Portland Playboys * Doug Fir, 725 E Burnside * $10 adv, $12 doors * 9 pm

W.O.R.D.S. Portland Fusion & Bellydance, burlesque, storytelling, dance party & interactive arts Analog Cafe, 720 SE Hawthorne * 8:30 pm * ???

Inner SE Crime: 2/24 – 3/3


In Buckman crime this week there was a robbery on 2/26 at 8:08 pm at 35th and Oak near Laurelhurst Park. There were also 20 thefts, 2 burglaries, and 3 assaults.

17 traffic calls were reported, including 5 injury accidents, 2 non-injury accidents, 1 unknown injury accidents, 4 hit and run accidents, 2 priority hit and run accidents, and 3 parking problems.

3 property calls were made, including 1 prowler, 1 priority vandalism, 1 vandalism, and 1 priority stolen vehicle.

Multiple incidents: 2 cold thefts near Ankney & 17th; 2 non-injury accidents at Hawthorne and 17th; Grand and 6th a theft and a priority theft; and Grand and Yamhill a cold theft and a priority theft.

The Buckman neighborhood boundaries are: Burnside Ave. to the north, 28th Ave. to the east, Hawthorne Ave. to the south, and the Willamette River to the west. For more information on any incident, visit CrimeReports.com or contact Portland Police Bureau.

This weekend!


$5 for 5 bands at The Blue Monk tonight. I’ve never heard any of these groups, but A Happy Death seems to rock it ably. Also appearing: Mad Caps, Mufassa, Space Shark, Sam Densmore, The Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont * 9 pm * $5

There’s a hip hop show at the Alhambra Theater with Kool Skull, Operation Mission, and Greightbit. Alhambra Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne * 9 pm * $5


During the day, KBOO is having a meet and greet with their new co-station managers, and the SE Portland Tool Library is having a seed swap, and organizers invite the community to: “stop by, meet some fellow gardeners, and pick up some free seeds to take home for your garden. And if you have some extra seeds of your own to share, bring them in to donate!”

A band recommended by a co-worker, The Lovely Lost, are at Eastburn. Eastburn, 1800 W Burnside * 9 pm * free

From Tryon Farm’s Owl Fest: “If you love owls, come out to Tryon Creek State Natural Area for an evening of Owl Celebration! Activities for the entire family including owl pellet dissection, owl crafts, owl presentations, guided hikes, snacks by Clif Bar, and close-up encounters with the Audubon Education Owls: Hazel and Julio!” Tryon Farms, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd * 5 pm * free

photo from USFS