Oregon Decline Report 5.25.23: You Will Affirm Us
Republicans at the Bridge
Oregon state Republicans are boycotting the legislature to prevent a quorum and inevitable passage of an aggressive “reproductive healthcare” bill requiring insurers to fund all manner of transgender treatment, allowing minors over 15 full access to abortion and “gender affirming” surgery without parental consent and requiring all colleges and universities to maintain facilities providing all reproductive health care, in the Orwellian sense, short of surgical abortion. The bill would also allow providing “reproductive health care information and services to any person without regard to the age of the person”.
[sec. 8 1](b) A physician, physician assistant licensed under ORS 677.505 to 677.525, nurse practitioner licensed under ORS 678.375 to 678.390, pharmacist licensed under ORS chapter 689 or naturopathic physician licensed under ORS chapter 685 may provide [birth control] reproductive health care information and services to any person without regard to the age of the person.
(2) A minor 15 years of age or older may give consent, without the consent of a parent or guardian of the minor, to:
(a) Hospital care, medical or surgical diagnosis or treatment by a physician licensed by the Oregon Medical Board or a naturopathic physician licensed under ORS chapter 685, and dental or surgical diagnosis or treatment by a dentist licensed by the Oregon Board of Dentistry[, except as provided by ORS 109.660].
(b) Diagnosis or treatment by a physician assistant who is licensed under ORS 677.505 to 677.525 and who is acting pursuant to a collaboration agreement as defined in ORS 677.495.
(c) Diagnosis and treatment by a nurse practitioner who is licensed by the Oregon State Board of Nursing under ORS 678.375 and who is acting within the scope of practice for a nurse practitioner.
There are limits to minor consent, of course:
(d) Except when the minor is obtaining contact lenses for the first time, diagnosis and treatment by an optometrist who is licensed by the Oregon Board of Optometry under ORS 683.010 to 683.340 and who is acting within the scope of practice for an optometrist.
Much of the law is about enshrining abortion rights in state law in response to the overturning of Roe v Wade, greatly expanding access to contraception and abortion, shielding doctors in Oregon from lawsuits from other states and, in apparent anticipation, from charges of “assault and battery” for transgender surgery. It mandates colleges and universities maintain extensive contraceptive services and have readily available “morning after pills”, establishing an impressive oversight regime for implementation, mandating annual audits in perpetuity.
(2) No later than April 1 of each year, each public institution of higher education shall submit a plan to the authority. The plan must demonstrate how the institution will ensure its students have access to medication abortions, including having in place equipment, protocols, patient educational materials, informational websites and training for staff.
(3) No later than July 1 of each year, the authority shall determine whether each
institution’s plan submitted under subsection (2) of this section is adequate in proportion to the institution’s capacity to provide services and, if the authority determines that an institution’s plan is inadequate, shall provide further guidance to the institution with remedial measures for developing an adequate plan.
Parents are legally left out of the loop:
SECTION 9. ORS 109.650 is amended to read:
109.650. (1) Except as provided in ORS 192.567, a physician…may not disclose to the minor’s parent or legal guardian information regarding the information and services provided to the minor unless the minor has authorized the disclosure in writing.
(2) A hospital or a physician…may advise [a] the minor’s parent or legal guardian [of a minor] of the care, diagnosis or treatment [of] provided to the minor or the need for any treatment of the minor, without the consent of the minor.
As for runaways, juvenile delinquents and any ward of the state parental consent can be dismissed outright:
418.307. (1) A physician…is authorized to treat a child who is ward of the court or is a dependent or delinquent child in accord with the best medical judgment of the physician, naturopathic physician, dentist or responsible official of the hospital and without consent if:
(a) Because of the general state of the child’s health or any particular condition, the physician, naturopathic physician, dentist or responsible official of the hospital determines that in the medical judgment of the physician, naturopathic physician, dentist or responsible official prompt action is reasonably necessary to avoid unnecessary suffering or discomfort or to effect a more expedient or effective cure; and
(b) It is impossible or highly impractical to obtain consent for treating the child from the child-caring agency, the child’s parent or the child’s legal guardian.
An insurer will be required to accept “[a]ny combination of gender-affirming treatments”:
[sec. 20 (1)](b) “Gender-affirming treatment” means a procedure, service, drug, device or product that a physical or behavioral health care provider prescribes to treat an individual for incongruence between the individual’s gender identity and the individual’s sex assignment
(c) “Health benefit plan” has the meaning given that term in ORS 743B.005.
(2) A carrier offering a health benefit plan in this state may not:
(a) Deny or limit coverage under the plan for gender-affirming treatment that is:
(A) Medically necessary as determined by the physical or behavioral health care provider
who prescribes the treatment; and
(B) Prescribed in accordance with accepted standards of care.
(b) Apply categorical cosmetic or blanket exclusions to medically necessary gender-affirming treatment.
(c) Exclude as a cosmetic service a medically necessary procedure prescribed by a physical or behavioral health care provider as gender-affirming treatment, including but not limited to:
(A) Tracheal shave;
(B) Hair electrolysis;
(C) Facial feminization surgery or other facial gender-affirming treatment;
(D) Revisions to prior forms of gender-affirming treatment; and
(E) Any combination of gender-affirming treatment procedures.
Cosmetic surgery is taken as gender affirming therefore “medically necessary”, but then all trans surgery is cosmetic surgery, so the logic of including such as “facial feminization” surgery is sound, albeit based on the pseudo science of gender affirmation. The “[r]evisions to prior forms of gender-affirming treatment” locks insurance companies into funding the many corrective surgeries often necessitated by “bottom surgery”, ensuring the continuing growth of the gender affirming surgery market. Who knows what it will cost the insurance industry or, rather, its customers.
The only doctors who can say no to gender treatment are those already working for the trans movement (and not necessarily doctors). Insurers may not:
(d) Issue an adverse benefit determination denying or limiting access to gender-affirming treatment unless a physical or behavioral health care provider with experience prescribing or delivering gender-affirming treatment.
The language appears to be lifted verbatim from similar legislation in Washington state, recently in the news for its new law allowing the concealment of minor runaways and their state-funded treatment from parents who oppose it.
The bill will fund “federally qualified health centers” in “underserved” (and more conservative) rural areas (those areas represented by the Republicans staging the boycott). The centers “may not be limited to reproductive health care”; they will also promote and enable gender transitioning.
SECTION 29. (1) The Office of Rural Health shall administer a program to provide grants to two federally qualified health centers located in rural and medically underserved areas of this state to each operate a pilot project providing expanded reproductive health services to individuals living in a geographical area of this state where there is limited access to reproductive health care.
(2) The grants must include funding for technical assistance in the design and administration of each pilot project and be flexible enough to permit the federally qualified health centers to use mobile health units or other temporary or transitional structures. Grantees must demonstrate that their governance bodies are committed to expanding access to reproductive health services, including abortion, but the services offered in the pilot projects may not be limited to reproductive health care.
(3) No later than September 15, 2025, the office shall report to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to health, in the manner provided in ORS 192.245, on the results of the projects and recommendations for expanding the program to additional areas of this state.
The Republicans are also blocking with their action a gun control measure.
“License, registration and pronouns please”
Local news media are scandalized by anonymous feedback given by police officers forced to endure the Portland Police Bureau Office of Equity and Inclusion’s recent “2022 LGBTQIA2S+ and Queer Policy” online training course (per PPB’s Directive 640.38, Interacting with Members of the LGBTQIA2S+ / Queer Community).
The law firm overseeing the PPB’s compliance with a federal consent decree says the overwhelmingly negative reaction is white supremacist and proof of the necessity of further training.
Unidentified Portland police officers left derogatory remarks on an anonymous survey seeking their feedback about online training regarding how to refer to and interact with people in the LGBTQ+ community.
The statements revealed “racism, ableism and white supremacy,’’ and the need for more and better equity instruction, according to city-hired consultants.
The bureau’s Equity and Inclusion Office, which works out of the police chief’s office, developed the training last year.
Dennis Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum & Associates, the firm monitoring the Police Bureau’s compliance with a federal settlement agreement, said the chief’s office was alerted about the problem during the second quarter of 2022.
Staff in the chief’s office and city officials promised to address the “problematic ideologies” expressed in the surveys, but the consultants said in their latest report that they had “yet to see a response.”
Rosenbaum said the police chief and city leaders must emphasize that such ideologies “have no place” within the bureau, while not infringing on any member’s First Amendment rights…
“None of that surprises me,” said Debra Porta, executive director of Pride Northwest.
Rosenbaum and Associates has served as Portland’s “Compliance Officer/Community Liason” overseeing compliance with federal consent decrees since 2015, when they were picked to monitor the city’s settlement of an Obama era pattern and practice suit alleging the PPB used excessive force against the mentally ill. In February 2020 the Department of Justice announced the city had satisfied all 190 terms of the six year-old settlement agreement. But the decree was not yet formally lifted.
With Biden’s election and Merrick Garland’s appointment as Attorney General the Department of Justice announced it would return to the Obama-era policy of aggressively using federal consent decrees against police departments that don’t toe the line. For Portland that meant lawsuits on behalf of antifa rioters and reneging on releasing the city from the decree. DOJ attorneys argued police had violated it by using excessive force against rioters (And no, the DOJ did not argue the decree applied because antifa are mentally ill).
To be freed from the settlement agreement and the accompanying federal oversight, Portland must be found in compliance and remain in compliance with the settlement’s terms for one year. The city in February 2020 was found in compliance for the first time since the agreement took effect in 2014.
But the Department of Justice and the independent group overseeing the agreement, found the police bureau’s forceful response to racial justice protests later that year exposed significant shortcomings and the city fell out of compliance.
Under the decree in 2015 the PPB created its Office of Equity and Inclusion which produced the queer policy online training. The OEI seeks to “center equity” and “lead with race”.
In alignment with OEHR and the City of Portland we believe that it is critical to lead with race. Centering on Race means that race is at the forefront of equity considerations throughout decision making processes. We center race because of the harmful history of color blind policy and lack of attention to the most marginalized. Centering race does not mean that the Equity Office does not seek to remedy other forms of marginalization such as sexism or homophobia nor does it mean we are not invested in positive outcomes for all peoples. It merely means that we purposefully focus the critical impact of race in our society.
But what about that OEI training video? It’s a doozy.
PPB’s masked, hapless Chief Chuck Lovell introduces the program using the full “LGBTQAI2S+ and queer community” description with the demeanor of a hostage. After he and three assistant chiefs genuflect in various ways, the EIO’s “equity training specialist” Lauren Rosenstein leads us through the identity labyrinth.
Queer: A word to encompass members on the LGBTQIA2S+ spectrum and sexual minorities such as people who engage in kink, polyamory, and sex work.
“I know there’s a lot of vocabulary here, but remember, the test isn’t if you got all of the letters of the acronym right or if you can recite the definitions, the goal is to respond with humility and empathy, when a person shares their identity with you…[L]anguage is a tool we can use. Theres nuance and it’ll change again at some point, and when it does, we’ll be there to say ‘got it, thanks for letting me know.'”
We are instructed eventually these identities will all be combined as “the Queer Community”. The only identity not included will be monogamous straight people without a sexual fetish or an arrest for prostitution. Officers are taught how to ask for pronouns and gently promise to work at it when they get it wrong. “We aren’t telling you to ask everyone for their pronouns. Best practice is to say ‘how would you like to be addressed?'”
Difficulties beyond pronouns arise. In one scenario police officers are investigating a trans “woman” who doesn’t want to be searched by a man, citing his legal right as a woman to request to be searched by another woman. Officers are instructed to radio for a female officer if one is not on the scene. In the scenario the no lady-cops are available to answer the call (imagine that). The male cops are instructed to proceed gently and apologetically. No word on whether female cops have been consulted or considered.
It begs a few questions: what about trans cops? Presumably a biological female suspect is allowed no such objection to being searched by a trans woman (and wouldn’t it be funny if one was produced for the suspect in the scenario to satisfy “her” request to not be touched by a man? I suspect our suspect would be more than a little disappointed). And if a female cop is on the scene, does she have to search any suspect claiming to be a woman? “Let’s go, officer, and be thorough…”
Somebody filed a FOIA request for the anonymous negative feedback cops provided, and even if you squint it’s hard to discern the “white supremacy”.
“Too much time and effort into a subject that is extremely rare, and uncommon. No class will change [over 30] years of English learning to call a singular person They.”
“I find the use of the house with a “Black Lives Matter” poster in the window highly inappropriate and offensive. This video is supposed to be about LGBTQ2+ and the presence of the chosen background is out of context and has no place in this video. Black Lives Matter is a political organization that funded the assault and attack of officers nationwide as well as officers here in Portland. The insertion of this background in this video pushes a political agenda and once again, is highly
inappropriate. No officer or member should be forced to accept a violent political
organization’s agenda or it’s representation to prove that they care about ALL people. In addition to inserting a political agenda this also undermined the messaging of the LGBTQ community who put themselves out there in an effort to strengthen relationships within the organization. The mere presence of that screenshot detracts from the true messaging of the queer members represented.”
“This training is vile, God made male and female. Not hard to figure out, Quit being sheep and placating to a few mentally disturbed, Pure stupidity.”
“The only thing this training does is hurt the transcommunity”
“This is the most ridiculous and demeaning training I have ever had to sit through. The assumption that I need to be TAUGHT this information because you think I am going to treat people worse or better due to their orientation is insulting. FYI it’s either male or female…period.“
“Stop wasting our time focusing on the emotional fragility of a minuscule population that’s offended by everything.“
“This socio political garbage is a waste of time. We have interacted with this community without issue for decades. This is a nonsense policy looking for a problem, and serves only to discipline officers. I also find it interesting that during the two animated scenarios, the only white male depicted is an ignorant bigot. This apparently is what you think of a vast majority of our members. Portland and the bureau is in a death spiral, and you devote how much time and money to this crap? DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC.“
This training seems to have a very condescending tone to it.
Condescension–and your reaction to it–seems to be the real point. As the man said, the point of communist propaganda is to humiliate. Woke propaganda, adopting modern means, also seeks to troll, and to use the reaction as pretext for more punishment. If the anonymous cops had just kept their thoughts to themselves, the PPB as a whole would not be coming under fire. It’s like in boot camp, where someone has done something wrong but no one will cop to it and the whole platoon is punished.
We can all anticipate much more condescension, and punishment.
PDX Decline Report 5.5.23: Festering Festivities
What Dreams Did Come
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland was created in 1935 by Angus L Bowmer. Its annual festival has long been a tourist draw. In recent years attendance has declined as, news accounts typically say, the theatre-going audience has “shifted”, which is a euphemism for the dying off of cultured white people interested in Shakespeare. The Covid scare and lockdowns devastated attendance further in early 2020 and, as everywhere else in Oregon, the George Floyd riots of that summer unleashed intensified pressure on the festival to “commit” to diversity and equity.
Of course that pressure had already been increasing. A diversity-hire was brought in to remedy the unbearable whiteness of the organization in 2019, introducing modern woke productions, of course, and, appropriately enough, casting her detractors as the heavies in her own empowered Black! woman drama:
Nataki Garrett joined the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as its artistic director in 2019, taking the helm of one of the country’s largest arts organizations as a pandemic waited in the wings.
But it wasn’t just a world-altering virus Garrett would have to contend with – there would be weeks where the air was too smoky to breathe, fires bearing down on the small city of Ashland and waning theater attendance.
She’s also had to deal with a small group of naysayers who question her every move and the kind of harassment that requires her to travel with security.
About this last challenge, Garrett is clear-eyed.
“I’m a Black woman,” she said Thursday. “I’m Black-identified. I like being a Black woman. I don’t think that there was a mistake in my birth.”
“I don’t spend any time apologizing for it or making up for it in these ways that allow for white comfort. We live in a society in which it’s normal to consider me to be a kind of threat. And so of course my presence is threatening because it upsets the status quo just through my existence.”
Garrett reportedly had high hopes for raising 19 million dollars in public and private funding when she came in, and I think the OSF hired her in large part because they thought a Black! face might be more likely to succeed in that.
Then there is the question of staging new plays.
It was in the 1950s, Garrett said, when Angus Bowmer, the then-artistic director and founder of the festival, started doing new plays [“Green Shows” before plays, featuring Elizabethan song and dance].
“So this idea that Shakespeare should be at the center,” she said, “it’s not what I inherited.”
Why would you assume Shakespeare should be at the center of a Shakespeare festival anyway? So Garrett’s first full season in 2022 featured a slate of woke fare no one asked for.
Yet Garrett is moving forward. The current season is designed for “collective impact,” Garrett said. Besides The Tempest, King John and Confederates, there is also a production of the Tony Award-winning musical Once On This Island, here set in Haiti, and a raucous queer musical called Revenge Song by Qui Nguyen. Next season, Garrett will direct the company’s flagship Shakespeare production, which will be a Romeo and Juliet that’s inspired by the making — and the failings — of the American West.
Garrett’s own directorial contribution Confederates sounds like a Black! lesbian bodice-ripper that I’m sure has nothing to do with the vanity of either writer or director:
An enslaved woman turned Union spy and a brilliant professor in a modern-day private university are facing similar struggles, though they live over a century apart. This play by MacArthur genius award–winner Dominique Morisseau leaps through time to trace the identities of two brilliant Black women and explores the reins that racial and gender bias still hold on American systems today.
Marginalizing Shakespeare for being neither Black! nor a woman wasn’t quite enough to afflict the comfortable whites of Ashland, so, when the shut-down festival was offering digital fare, Garrett introduced a film called “Ash Land” that is–what else–“a meditation on race, history and identity as reflected in the life of a Black woman coming to terms with the past”, wherein the magnanimous protagonist learns to forgive the town for being neither Black! nor a woman.
From the festival’s website:
In ASH LAND, we offer a portrait of a Black woman who has turned her back on herself, afflicted by a quiet, insidious malaise. Her once-beloved refuge is now a den for survival, and rituals that were once joyous have become militaristic attempts at de-stressing. Compounded by the pandemic, she can no longer outrun the internal torment. When an enigmatic spirit finally catches up to her, she cultivates an understanding of true restoration and rebirth that reignites her love of Ashland, Oregon.
In this film, our proposal to humanity is simple: We are the ones we have been waiting for. We must heal us. We must cultivate our own joy. We must inhabit spaces in the fullness of our truth. We must love ourselves inclusive of and not in spite of our mortal wounds.
We Black. We in Oregon. Look at us.
Now the third act of our tragedy has arrived, and the bodies littering the stage include the festival’s reputation and finances.
Nataki Garrett, artistic director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has resigned.
Garrett, who took over the festival in 2019, was the festival’s first Black female artistic director and only the sixth artistic director in its 88-year history. She faced wildfires, a pandemic, criticism over choice of plays and casting, and racist harassment during her time in the most visible job at the Ashland theater company.
The announcement that Garrett will leave comes as Oregon Shakespeare Festival is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to save the season…
According to an Oregon Shakespeare Festival employee who attended, and who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak for the festival, leaders said at the time that they needed to correct more than 15,000 incorrect entries in its financial ledger, the result of antiquated systems that were not properly maintained. The leaders also told employees they’re still trying to precisely determine cash flow numbers, bills owed and overall expenses of the organization.
When OSF had to drastically downsize for the 2023 season it was left in the hands of its diversity hire boss Garrett and her diversity/HR officer.
That left Garrett as interim executive artistic director and Anyania Muse — who was the festival’s manager for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as well as its human resources manager — became its interim chief operating officer as well.
Fittingly, this artist’s Muse is a DEI consultant. In addition to using public money for security to protect her from theater critics and letter-writers, Garrett was said to be very generous in paying staff such as Muse–which only makes me more suspicious.
And flights of queer Black! indigenous angels sing thee to thy rest, Nataki.
In 1905 as the city celebrated the centennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Portland luminaries created the annual Rose Festival (settlers introduced rose bushes into the region and Portland eventually became “the Rose City”). One of its features is the nighttime Starlight Parade, introduced to celebrate the new technology of electric light. It’s considered a “family friendly” event.
This year’s Grand Marshal is a drag queen who calls himself Poison Waters.
Poison Waters, a Portland drag artist who performs at Darcelle XV Showplace, has been named the Grand Marshal of the Rose Festival’s 2023 Starlight Parade.
Poison Waters is the stage name of Kevin Cook, one of Portland’s most well-known drag performers and a long-time friend of Walter Cole, also known as Darcelle XV, who died in March at 92. Poison Waters led the ceremony at Darcelle’s memorial at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last month.
The city went into mourning when its oldest living drag queen, Darcelle XV, passed away, giving him the city’s equivalent of a state funeral. Poison looks as if he might be the current oldest drag queen in Portland.
“Of all the exciting things that have happened to me in my 35 years of being Poison Waters, this has GOT to be the topper!” Cook said Friday. “At a time where drag queens are under attack in other parts of our country, choosing me as the Grand Marshal for the CareOregon Starlight Parade is such an important moment for me and the community I represent, the Portland Rose Festival, our city and state! This is such an honor and very surreal!”
The Starlight Parade takes place after the Starlight Run, a costumed family-friendly 5K that starts at 6 p.m.
The Portland Police Bureau is learning pronouns and obscurity from its Equity and Inclusion Office:
This is per the Bureau’s Directive 0640.38 Interacting with Members of the LGBTQIA2S+ / Queer Community:
- Deadnaming: Using the birth or other former name (i.e. a name that is “dead”) of a transgender person without their consent.
- Gender Expression: External presentation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through one’s name, pronouns, behavior, clothing, haircut, or voice.
- Gender Identity: A person’s gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior, regardless of whether the identity, appearance, expression, or behavior differs from that associated with the gender assigned to the person at birth.
- Gender non-conforming: A broad term referring to persons whose gender identity or gender expression does not match societal expectations that traditionally correspond to their assigned sex at birth.
- Intersex: A term used to describe people born with chromosomes, external genitalia, and/or a reproductive system that do not conform to a binary categorization of male and female anatomy.
- LGBTQIA2S+: An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify. The acronym is increasingly being replaced with the term “Queer community.” In some spaces, the abbreviation LGBTQIA2S+ and the term “Queer community” encompass sexual minorities such as people who identify as polyamorous, sex workers, or part of the kink community.
Can’t leave out the just plain old kinky.
2.1. Acknowledging a Person’s Gender Identity.
2.1.1. Members may need to ask a person what their gender identity is to complete a police report, evaluate a bias crime, or for another official purpose.
2.1.2. When a member needs to determine a person’s gender identity, they shall respectfully ask the person how they identify in terms of gender. For example, “I identify as female and use she/her pronouns. For this report, what should I put for your gender?”
Some of it appears to contravene federal requirements:
3.3. Some government-issued identification cards (including Oregon’s) have sex identifier options such as X for non-binary, in addition to female and male options.
3.3.1. X is not a recognized sex identifier under federal reporting requirements. Accordingly, for some forms the only options are female, male, and unknown. For federal reporting, the “X” sex identifier will be reported as “unknown.”
More on that training video here.
Clown and Out in Portland
Portland’s Behavioral Health Resource Center is a”low barrier” service center for the homeless “geared toward people experiencing severe and ongoing mental health and/or substance use disorders”, staffed by “peer mentors” possessing “lived experience” with drugs and mental illness. Not a shelter but a “walk in” clinic with minimal rules, there are no drugs or guns allowed, “self defense tools” must be checked in a locker. Not everyone was happy when it opened last December in Portland’s struggling downtown retail core, a few blocks from Portland’s almost completed Ritz Carlton, which will feature the city’s most expensive condominiums and hotel rooms and the city’s first five star restaurant.
The multi-use tower is on schedule to open in summer 2023. It broke ground in the optimistic days of 2019. Needless to say the odds developer Walt Bowen assumed when placing his 600 million dollar bet on downtown Portland have diminished significantly since then.
This is the year the Portland real estate developer is to deliver his Ritz-Carlton building, a massive $600 million gamble that some have come to view as a high-stakes referendum on downtown Portland itself.
Bowen and his team have managed to keep construction on track — city building officials say they expect the tower at 900 S.W. Washington St. will be ready to partially open as soon as May — and his lenders on the team. That’s no small achievement given the historic events out of his control that have sapped the vitality of downtown Portland since construction began in 2019.
Now comes the really hard part – selling the building’s 138 condos at price tags never before seen in Portland, attracting guests to stay in the city’s first five-star hotel, and finding tenants for the building’s five stories of office space…
Stephen Fitzmaurice, a Portland Realtor and condo specialist, predicts Bowen could pull it off precisely because of the uber-exclusive target market.
“The upper half of the top 1% have more money than they ever have,” Fitzmaurice said. “I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the condos sell out because they are targeting that niche.”
Fitzmaurice is cynically counting on the killing the wealthy few made as a result of Covid lockdowns–the “one percent” increased their wealth by an estimated 6.5 trillion dollars in 2021–to counter the current economic collapse resulting from the same lockdowns and another elite-funded disaster, the BLM riots of 2020. The raft of legislation that rode the BLM terror campaign into law included Measure 110’s legalization of drugs. The streets around the project gradually declined as the building rose, as if the massive tower was draining the surrounding landscape of life to grow up out of it, gleaming and indifferent.
But it remains to be seen if the filthy rich will accept our increasingly filthy streets. Mayor Ted Wheeler has been trying to reclaim downtown for months by declaring his intention to re-institute the long-lapsed ban on street camping and transferring the homeless into large tent camps in outlying neighborhoods. The enforcement part appears to be waiting on the first of Ted’s new Wheelervilles to open–this summer, in time for the Ritz’ grand opening. The city is following a 9th Circuit Court ruling as precedent, Martin v Boise, requiring a municipality to have an available shelter bed to offer anyone as an alternative to arrest or citation.
The city just signed a 50 million dollar contract with a Bay Area non-profit called Urban Alchemy, staffed by ex-cons (some predictable results) to manage the city’s new mega-camps. Using contacts in San Francisco government Urban Alchemy seemingly came out of nowhere in 2019 to tap into the largesse California and San Francisco were suddenly dumping on their growing homelessness problem, winning a series of no-bid contracts. UA had no serious competition for the Portland contract. Covid mandates didn’t only enrich the wealthiest, they seem to have been a boon for Urban Alchemy as well.
The nonprofit plunged in to help address homelessness and the filth of the Tenderloin streets during COVID-19. And it is employing felons, some convicted of murder, who might get no other chance to rejoin society. Its alchemy is hiring the unemployable to do the work few want to do. Los Angeles and other cities are hiring Urban Alchemy based on its performance in the Tenderloin, and the National Science Foundation praised its impact on neighborhoods after a study.
On the other hand, close relationships with City Hall have raised questions about no-bid contracts that are part of the $41 million San Francisco taxpayers will send to Urban Alchemy. Yet because the nonprofit was granted reporting extensions by the Internal Revenue Service, much of the bookkeeping of its boom has not been visible. Its CEO, Lena Miller, declined to disclose her salary, while her relationships with City Hall power brokers has played a key part in the nonprofit’s growth…
The shooting of an Urban Alchemy worker in February raised questions about the nonprofit’s approach of building relationships in dangerous neighborhoods without security training or support.
Yet despite the challenges, Urban Alchemy has experienced the kind of growth that could make a budding Silicon Valley startup jealous. It has grown to 1,000 workers in just three years, and is branching out elsewhere while it deepens its responsibilities in San Francisco. Its budget increased by more than 500% over the last two years, it says. And while its prominence has risen at breakneck speed, that growth has made financial disclosures and training employees for future roles a challenge.
Meanwhile downtown Portland has only grown worse in recent months. Which brings me back to the Behavioral Health Resource Center (BHRC). Willamette Week:
Every morning, a line stretches for a block before the center opens at 8 am, down-and-out Portlanders awaiting entrance to a squat building located among the Dossier, the Hyatt and, soon, the 35-story Ritz-Carlton, by far the most expensive hotel Portland has ever seen.
And those business owners are asking the county to do more to keep the neighborhood around the center free from some of what its clients bring with them, including threats of violence and drug use. They’ve requested security patrols, police drug stings, and a fundamental alteration of the center’s operating model.
The tensions underlie a more complicated question: How do officials serve homeless Portlanders in the heart of downtown without deterring the customers businesses desperately need?
Business reps painted a bleak picture.
“Staff members have been held at gunpoint, clients that we’ve relied on for years have turned away from downtown,” Matthew Skelton, manager of Hotel Lucia, a block east on Southwest Broadway, told the board Feb. 16. “Clients have been robbed.”
The Mayor’s office in Portland isn’t vested with a lot of power–he’s essentially a privileged council member–and Wheeler’s efforts to clean up downtown are often checked by his own city and county government, which administers most of the programs.
The county says it won’t change the center’s walk-in model because it’s meant for Portlanders for whom even a phone call to schedule an appointment can pose an impossible barrier…
The county hired Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon to run the center. It’s staffed by more than two dozen peer specialists who themselves once struggled with addiction or homelessness.
In Portland everything done on behalf of the homeless, mentally ill or drug addicted follows the “harm reduction” and “trauma”-informed model, the latter being the reason for all the reformed drug users administering to unreformed drug users (what could go wrong?).
By March a long abandoned retail mall near the BHRC became an open air drug market; day and night the sidewalks around the building were dominated by fentanyl users getting high, passing out, overdosing.
On April 1 the city recorded eleven overdoses, three of them fatalities, in and around the Washington Center drug market. The next day Willamette Week reported the BHRC had abruptly closed, with only a notice posted to the center’s website late on a Friday. BHRC cited “building improvements and staff training”.
When the BHRC re-opened on April 17, no doubt to the chagrin of its neighbors who’d hoped to see the last of it, we learned the reason for the closing.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Multnomah County’s Behavioral Health Resource Center in downtown Portland reopened on Monday after a two-week closure to train staff — as well as investigate allegations of “inappropriate relationships” and on-site drug use from contracted employees, the county announced.
The internal investigations looked into allegations of inappropriate behavior at the center among security staff and other contract employees, the county said. Officials clarified that the investigations did not involve county employees or clients…
Based on the allegations of “inappropriate relations” and on-site drug use, the county directed DPI Security to replace all of its center staff. However, DPI Security claimed it did not have enough staff for the replacement, so the county switched to Northwest Enforcement Inc., which will provide security moving forward, officials said…
The center is a peer-led model employed by others with lived experience to help those experiencing chronic homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. Peer Support Specialists use trauma-informed practices and have certification requirements, the county said.
On April 12 police cleared out Washington Center and it was boarded up, again.
And the beat goes on.
update April 27
Willamette Week reporter Sophie Peel with more on the alleged shenanigans going on at the Behavioral Resource Center:
Emails obtained by WW from the two weeks leading up the center’s abrupt closure show that a tangle of allegations from multiple employees and managers—and an especially extensive set of allegations by a departing worker relayed in a March 29 evening phone call—prompted the county to temporarily shut the center’s doors the next day.
The staffer’s “report suggests that the work environment may be unsafe and toxic, particularly on the 3rd floor,” wrote one county manager hours before the center’s closure.
Indeed, the dynamics alleged in county correspondence include employees of the three contractors trading drugs, sleeping with each other, and blackmailing each other by threatening to reveal each other’s behavior.
The Center’s trauma informed care seems to come with a lot of drama-induced cares. Trauma-informed care and constant companion harm reduction are basically the precepts everyone is a victim of trauma (so don’t re-traumatize by asking anything of them) and just give them the clean needles, respectively.
According to Appleton’s notes, the disgruntled employee alleged sexual triangles between contractors, the use of “powder” at the center, and trysts taking place between staffers on the third floor. “The county doesn’t know what is going on in the facility, and if they knew, then MHAAO would not be the provider,” Appleton wrote based on what the employee had said to her over the phone.
The county abruptly shuttered the center the next day. It remained closed until April 17…
The records provided by the county also show just how intense the needs are of those who frequent the BHRC. Incident reports spanning just two weeks describe a man who slept overnight at the center in an electrical closet; a man hitting a sleeping woman with a chair; clients getting in fights or near-fights; and a participant who was asked to leave the center throwing an e-scooter and batteries at its windows.
The incident reports also tell of a client who would be dead had it not been for staff using six doses of Narcan to revive him, and tell of staff calling an ambulance to pick up a man who said he was feeling deeply suicidal.
In one two-week period in the latter half of March, center staff wrote reports for 45 incidents.
PDX POV 4.21.23
The Short, Unhappy Life of Hunter Means
Hunter Means was Portland’s youngest homicide victim in the bloody, record-setting year of 2021. He spent the last two of his three months in the hospital, and died there in June.
By August 17 of 2020 Portland police had lost the blocks directly around their central precinct and the federal courthouse to antifa rioters and their criminal allies; the worst place to find trouble was in the vicinity of the police station. On that evening a group styling themselves antifa security beat a harmless man into a coma in the no-go zone.
Youtuber Drew Hernandez was on scene and recorded the chaos of stupidity and violence leading up to that assault. Graphic content:
Marquise Love, wearing a stab vest labelled “security” from a job he had held for a couple months before, capped off the night by getting up a running start and kicking the head of Adam Haner, sitting beaten and dazed in the street, placekicker style. With Haner in a coma Love was briefly on the lam, and on social media, lamenting he might soon go to jail for “fighting a racist”, following the ruse antifa had up within minutes of the attack on their social media.
Haner came out of his coma and Love, who has a lengthy rap sheet including domestic violence, was eventually sentenced to 20 months in prison after “negotiations” with restorative justice practitioner Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, for one count of third degree assault and one count of felony riot (a charge the DA had previously announced he would decline to prosecute in the case of “racial justice protesters”).
The resolution of this case resulted after months of pretrial negotiations and a judicial settlement conference.
The victim, law enforcement, the court and the state are in agreement that the resolution of this case is appropriate.
By pleading guilty to one count of assault in the third degree and one count of felony riot, Love admitted that while being aided by another person, he caused physical injury to the victim and that he and others engaged in tumultuous and violent conduct and created a grave risk of causing public alarm.
Throughout the case, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office communicated with, listened to and involved the victim in the pretrial negotiations and subsequent resolution.
Although the victim did not attend today’s court hearing, in an interview with media on August 19, 2020, he said he is not seeking vengeance against Marquise Love and that he hoped Love would learn from what happened.
I was at the intersection of 4th and Taylor an hour and a half before Haner was beaten, and recorded some very young black would-be thugs, boys and girls, jumping a white antifa boy who was defending a homeless man they had been harassing. The gang of kids appeared on the scene late in the summer, beating and robbing the weak and sometimes fighting among themselves. They had some relationship to the antifa security gang and would be on hand for the attack on Haner and his girlfriend.
Five days later on August 22 Proud Boys and antifa counter-demonstrators faced off violently on streets abandoned by police–Mayor Ted Wheeler had announced ahead of time police would not intervene in the anticipated brawl. Among the many things I recorded was a man threatening to return with his “Glock” to deal with a handful of Proud Boy antagonists:
His name is Dakota, and I recognized him as a regular presence during the riots, when he made the news two days after the rally after being arrested for assaulting an employee leaving the federal district court (antifa by that time had turned their attention from the police station to the courthouse next door, refocusing and reinvigorating their siege as a campaign against Trump’s feds). Again he was threatening to return with a gun.
A Portland man has been charged for forcibly assaulting and intimidating a federal worker near the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced.
On August 24, Dakota Kurtis Means allegedly began following an employee around 5:30 a.m. while yelling obscenities. Court documents say he was carrying a black paintball rifle and told the employee “it’s a paintball gun now, but it’s going to be an AR later.” U.S. Marshals Service deputies arrested the 20-year-old a short time later.
Means was charged with forcibly assaulting, impeding, and intimidating a federal employee while engaged in or on account of the performance of their official duties — a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in federal prison.
He pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance on the same day as his arrest. A one-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on October 27.
His unfortunate face is unmistakable.
On that same August 22 Portland police released photos of the antifa security gang asking for help in identifying Haner’s assailants. There again was that sullen visage, throughout the lead-up to Haner’s beating.
Here in a still from the Drew Hernandez video he threatens a good samaritan with a gun he claims to have concealed in his backpack; the samaritan is defending a man who identifies as a woman the group had been beating up (and who Dakota threatened with a gun in the same fashion, making for four such threats in our brief glance over his week of August 17 through August 22).
The video documents the sequence of events leading up to the attack on Adam Haner (in a blue t-shirt in the background above), beginning with the antifa security gang escorting a man they found suspicious out of the protest area. As they’re beating him in the intersection of Fourth and Taylor the trans woman draws their attention. Eventually they rob him and, after he’s been beaten up by the girls in the group, they turn on Haner, who had been hanging about and repeatedly, foolishly, trying to peacefully intervene.
Hernandez’ video is age restricted so the timestamps below aren’t hyperlinks.
At 8:52 Dakota enters the scene and briefly threatens the trans woman, who’s been robbed and roughed up, claiming to be holding a gun in his backpack.
9:43: A police paddy wagon cruises past the chaotic scene slowly with its code lights on but doesn’t stop; some of the gang follow behind, taunting.
11:17: After the girls in the group have beaten up the trans woman who’s now defenseless on the ground, a passerby intervenes. A black man in a plain white dress shirt, cradling a knife discretely in one hand, stands between the men and the downed trans woman. He’s set upon by the gang, shouting various iterations of “fuck these white people”, but they don’t attack.
11:27: Dakota enters the scene again, and eventually threatens the hero in the same fashion he threatened the trans woman, making a show of taking off his backpack and suggesting he had a gun in his hand hidden there. The hero looks terrified but bravely stands his ground, asking what’s in the backpack. You’ll find out Dakota threatens.
17:23: Marquise Love,in a fit of rage, is restrained by his fellows; one of them is a masked bald white man. Masked white antifa hang about on the fringes of the scene discretely; it seems they only intervene if they think the gang is going to go too far and bring trouble on themselves. One of them may have been Michael Reinoehl, another member of the antifa security gang, who would go on to murder Proud Boy Aaron Danielson, a little over a week later on September 1. Previously he was cited (but not apparently arrested) for possessing a loaded gun at a protest on July 5. The district attorney declined to prosecute.
Police had seized a gun from Reinoehl during an early morning protest downtown on July 5, but it was of a different caliber than the one used to shoot Danielson, according to the affidavit. Reinoehl was given a citation then, accused of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police on Southwest Main Street. Police took a Walther 9mm semi-automatic handgun from Reinoehl. The citation was dropped by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on July 30, and Reinoehl spent no time behind bars. The office earlier this week said it was still reviewing the case.
20:15 Adam Haner, who can be seen throughout the video in a blue t-shirt trying to talk down the gang as they harassed the trans woman, has come under attack and is locked in his truck. The girls in the gang are trying to stop him.
20:21 The men of the gang surround the truck, trying to open door. The girls start beating Haner’s girlfriend, who has been abandoned outside the truck. Some are already shouting about the “racist”; others plea on his behalf; “he didn’t do nothing” someone yells.
21:19 Haner is trapped on the curb in his truck, he can’t pull away without hitting someone, his girlfriend has taken a pretty good beating in the middle of the street at the hands of the girls; a big man is at the driver’s side window banging on it.
21:33 Haner inches away from the curb and accelerates down Taylor. Two of the girls inexplicably pushing on the side of the truck bed fall away from the truck. Now the crowd is screaming, outraged.
23:20 Haner crashes a couple of blocks away near a high-end hotel; the gang jeers in celebration as they close in on him.
24:41 Haner is out of the truck pleading with a masked white antifa who is carrying a club and has Haner cornered, holding him for the gang; he threatens him with the club in one hand, filming him with the other: “don’t come near me bro I’ll fuck you up”.
25:03 The masked white antifa, holding Haner hostage, waiting for the gang, tries to clear the area of witnesses: “hey, there are too many people around here”. Soon Haner is pleading his case before a line of protesters blocking his escape. The gang arrives finally; “bro you’re not leaving bro”.
26:30 Haner’s beating starts as he’s pushed to the ground
26:49 Haner tries to get up, is forced back down by the white antifa.
27:05 Haner is on the ground, where’s he’s surrounded, holding his phone; an older white man appears and tries to extricate him; he’s shouted down; someone says they’re holding him “til the cops come nigga”. At some point Haner is allowed to take a call from his worried girlfriend.
28:58 Love, who’s been leading the beating and flies into a blind rage at Haner’s whimpering pleas, gets a running start from the other side of the street and blindsides Haner, knocking him unconscious with a kick; somewhere a white anifa exults, “drop that fuckin’ racist bro! You fuckin’ loser!”
29:27 Haner’s girlfriend is on the scene and in a panic after seeing his condition. The white antifa who held Haner for the gang pulls her aside trying to calm her: “he wrecked his car…was trying to run people over…”; he abandons her to stop the gang from looting the truck. They are waiting for the police they say. A few people are attending to Haner on the ground, no one knows what to do; a woman shouts “call 911”. Haner is bleeding from the back of his head; someone pours water on his face. As the scene ends expression of concern are shouted down; he’s a racist they say; “black lives matter” “I’m black motherfucker and I”m in this”; a black man in an undershirt is challenging anyone who disagrees to fight him.
Sometime after seeing his picture in the paper I saw Dakota one day, looking stoned stumbling down Harrison Street toward the waterfront.
For threatening the federal employee August 24 Dakota was released and scheduled for trial in October.
Means made his initial appearance in federal court on August 24, 2020 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered released to a residential re-entry center pending a one-day jury trial scheduled to begin on October 27, 2020.
In January he was released on probation after 60 days time served.
Means told U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman that what he did was a “stupid mistake.”
“I regret my decision that day,” Means said. “I take full responsibility for what I have done. … I know it’s not going to happen again.”
Means appeared via video for the sentencing hearing, hours after completing an overnight shift at a 7-Eleven, where he now works full time, his lawyer said…
He lives with his wife and has a second child expected in March. He’s also getting a mental health assessment and treatment “he should have had a while ago,” Ahlemeyer said.
Intimidation of a federal employee carries a maximum sentence of one year. Dakota Means was one of many “protesting police violence” to receive light sentences for assaulting feds. So he was at home on probation in April of 2021 when he would beat his infant son Hunter for the last time.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland man convicted of assaulting a federal officer is now facing charges in connection with his infant child’s death.
Court documents say 22-year-old Dakota Means is charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
According to a memorandum opposing bail filed by prosecutors, the child was admitted to Randall Children’s Hospital with a serious brain injury in April of 2021.
The child later died from his injuries in June, and the medical examiner found the cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Hunter was six weeks old when admitted to the hospital; it appears Dakota had already been beating him regularly.
Court documents say a doctor also found the child had been previously abused with evidence of rib fractures.
Prosecutors allege Dakota was the only one in the room with his child when the injuries occurred. They say the child’s mother had also told him he needed to be more gentle with the children.
Means was originally charged with assault and child mistreatment before being charged with second-degree murder. He pled not guilty to the charges in 2021.
Prosecutors say he is also on probation for a 2021 federal conviction for assaulting an officer.
The boy suffered brain bleeds, a fractured skull and broken ribs. His father was home with him at the time the injuries occurred, according to investigators.
He died in the hospital June 23, a little over a month after he was removed from life support. Hunter was three months old when he died, his mother Gabriella Means said.
His lawyer said that Means early this year was living with his wife and was expecting a second child in March. Means also was set to get a mental health assessment and treatment, the lawyer said then.
Means wasn’t the only one threatening people with a gun at the August 22 fight between antifa and Proud Boys. Antifa-friendly journalist Sergio Olmos of Oregon Public Broadcasting stalked Proud Boy associate Alan Swinney throughout the day and eventually nabbed his money shot, a photograph of Swinney, covered in paint, pointing a revolver at aggressive antifa. The tall, scary-looking Texan was a regular, prominent presence in the series of occasionally violent antifa-patriot standoffs that began with the Trump era. Antifa despised him of course and had been out to get him for years.
For this and and for paint-balling and bear-macing two counter-demonstrators at a previous confrontation on August 15 when his small group of demonstrators was trying to escape downtown, Swinney was arrested in September of 2020, for 12 charges: unlawful use of a weapon, pointing a firearm at another person and unlawful use of mace. Swinney turned himself in thinking it was a minor matter and found himself held on 534,000 dollars bond. A Multnomah County judge refused his lawye’rs motion to reduce it and he hasn’t seen the light of day since. He was eventually sentenced to ten years in prison.
DA Mike Schmidt’s prosecutors took advantage of Oregon’s mandatory minimum law, which the district attorney had lobbied against in the name of racial justice the previous March, combining charges from two separate days (both involving antifa chasing Proud Boy demonstrators out of town), each carrying mandatory five-year sentences, to be served consecutively. Antifa got over their putative hatred of law enforcement and the District Attorney got over his principled opposition to excessive sentences as the two worked together, hand in glove.
Schmidt charged Dakota Means with one count of manslaughter in the first degree and one count of criminal mistreatment in the first degree (apparently ignoring physical and witness evidence of previous beatings) for killing Hunter. He was sentenced to just over twelve years on April 7. Schmidt could have charged him with murder in the second degree, yielding a minimum sentence of 300 months, or 25 years, but it seems his opposition to long sentences is only suspended in the case of political opposition, not infanticide. The 22 year-old father of one surviving child will not yet be thirty five years old if he serves and survives his full sentence.
The Apple store in downtown Portland was built in 2014, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to fit Apple’s open-air, accessible aesthetic. From the architects:
This single-room, pavilion-like store was designed for one of the world’s leading technology companies and located along a prominent Portland retail corridor. Replacing a preexisting department store, the new building is a reinterpretation of the favorite architectural themes developed over the past 14 years for the technology company’s extensive retail program.
A broad, glass-enclosed room makes this retail environment feel like a seamless extension of the surrounding urban environment. Spanning a city block with 240 lineal feet of 20-foot high storefront glazing, the building’s facade dematerializes the boundary between interior and exterior. The store is actively engaged in the activity of the thoroughfare, with its entry setback adding another stop along the “Portland Open Space Sequence” connecting Lawrence Halprin’s 1970 Forecourt Fountain and the Pioneer Courthouse Square with other downtown parks…
Delicate stainless steel columns set at the interior side of the glass storefront support the roof as it cantilevers out over the surrounding plaza. This minimal support allows for unobstructed views to the surrounding urban landscape, further blurring the line between interior and exterior. The canopy creates a place for pedestrians to gather and diffuses direct sunlight, both inside and out.
Above the occupied retail space grows a green roof system that not only acts as a fourth facade to the surrounding towers, but also contributes to the overall health of the building and well being of the city of Portland.
The store was targeted by antifa in the early morning hours of May 30, the first day of 2020’s summer of BLM rioting in Portland.
After a few days the store boarded up, and instantly became a memorial to the growing canon of BLM heroes.
The store closed in June as the rioting continued. That December, as Apple carefully prepared to reopen the store, the company had a dilemma. Taking down the boards meant dismantling the BLM shrine it had become, and could prompt new antifa hostility just as Apple was trying to reclaim the store. So a solution was found.
Apple began covering up the George Floyd mural on its downtown Portland store Wednesday, the first step in the company’s plan to preserve and ultimately donate the historic artwork.
“We’re going to be putting up a protective layer of plywood over the existing artwork to preserve them for future donation,” Apple said in a statement to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday. The company said it expected to announce long-term plans for the mural early next year.
The artwork was donated to local BLM grifter Teresa Raiford’s Don’t Shoot PDX. Here’s a group photo in front of the shrine/store. I have no idea what the beauty queen is about, but I noticed at the time on the group’s website a banner blocked her out of the picture. Maybe Teresa, in tracksuit here, didn’t like the showboating:
The store reopened in May of 2021. But simply returning it to its original state was not feasible. When the federal courthouse nearby took down its barriers two months before the building was attacked within hours and set on fire that night. It remains barricaded, like the police precinct next door.
So the company encased the store in a massive steel fence anchored by concrete blocks, where customers filed through a security checkpoint. It resembled nothing so much as the entrance to a prison.
Now the steel is coming down. But leaving the store exposed is still not recommended. So Apple is removing the dystopian eyesore that is the steel barrier, and replacing it with a less conspicuous plexiglass eyesore.
The Oregonian reported last May that Apple had proposed installing a lattice-work of clear polycarbonate panels around the store’s windows to replace the security wall. Based on the appearance of the store on Friday and the proposed renderings, it seems that Apple went through with the upgrade — suggesting they’re still hedging their bets somewhat.
Nowhere is the conflict between “social justice” and older, putative progressive values such as “livable cities”, as expressed by Apple’s architecture, more evident. No one here seems to notice.
Nearing three years after our Summer of Soros ushered in the “racial reckoning” the store stands as a metaphor for America and its adaptation to our new order.
Update: Apple launched a $100 million Racial Justice and Equity Initiative in January 2021. Apple CEO Tim Cook has not given a dollar figure for the company’s direct contributions to BLM-related organizations.
PDX POV 3.27.23
Just Flew It
A month ago Nike took Chris Rock’s advice and fled Martin Luther King Boulevard. People are looting the store with impunity–no need any longer to wait for rioting and a subsequent, temporary collapse of order. Since BLM’s triumphant summer of 2020 the ensuing raft of legislation against criminal prosecutions generally because they fall too hard on Blacks! and the reign of woke Multnomah County District Attorney MIke Schmidt have rendered rioting obsolete, from the looters’ point of view; order is low-key suspended, indefinitely.
Nike has temporarily closed a retail location in Portland, Oregon, with one of the richest histories in its store footprint because of ongoing theft.
“People were just going in there with bags already opened and picking up stuff and walking out the door past unarmed security,” Ron Herndon, a Portland civil rights and education activist, told Insider, about the closure of the Nike store on the city’s MLK Boulevard.
Herndon worked with Nike to open the store in 1984.
Well, at least they had the right footwear for running away. When you need to flee, choose Nike.
The “community store” was opened after a campaign led by the above mentioned Herndon to bring businesses into Black! neighborhoods. In 2004 the company celebrated 20 years of operation:
“Nike has been a key economic driver for this community, and they are to be congratulated not only for doing business here for the last 20 years, but for being one of the first area businesses to stand up and declare Northeast Portland as a viable community to do business in,” said Ron Herndon, who led the Black United Front in the 1980s and served as a catalyst for encouraging businesses, including the Nike Factory Store, to locate in the community. “Northeast Portland has seen incredible change in the last two decades that simply could not have happened at the speed it did if it were not for the significant commitments made by Nike and others in the business community–both in terms of achieving economic reward and providing community investment.”
When the Nike Portland Factory Store opened in 1984, it pledged to donate a portion of the store’s profits to community-based non-profit organizations…
Nike is still trying to get uniformed police as a condition of reopening the MLK store and for its downtown location near the still-fortified Apple store, where the aesthetic and banners no longer celebrate powerful and fleet athletes in motion, but Black! women and sexual ambiguity. No more stout or svelte mannequins; they’ve all put on weight, let themselves go, and that’s the point; now it’s rotund female figures in yoga poses.
Nike has donated massively to BLM and related causes, and here in Portland the disintegration of downtown is directly related to the BLM riots and subsequent legislation of 2020. But Nike’s money is nothing compared to the cultural effect it leverages with such as their Kaepernick ad campaign–a political campaign under the guise of private enterprise.
So if Nike, once a remarkable Northwest success story, is to die on this hill of shit they’ve created, let us call it the Curse of Colin.