Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Crime, Homelessness, Shelter and Gatekeepers


Four papers offered with the purpose of educating our residents on public safety issues here in Old Town Chinatown.


(1) What We Need to know For Our Safety, Incident and Crime Stats, Old Town Chinatown, October 2, 2017,  download here. (bit.ly/OTCToursafety)
Crime report for August 2016 to August 2017 time period and incident report, September 2016 to September 2017.
  

(2) Overview Homelessness in Our Neighborhood, October 3, 2017 download here.  (bit.ly/OTCThomeless)

Information from the 2015 and 2017 Point In Time count of unsheltered homeless folks about the homeless population.  Overview of relevant information regarding the proposed 200 bed, low barrier Shelter at 320 NW Hoyt Street here in Old Town Chinatown.  


(3) See also position paper, Point of View,  September 12, 2017, on proposed siting of a 200 bed shelter, low barrier, in the North Gate area entrance to New Chinatown Japantown Historic District, Portland, Oregon.



(4) And read about Gatekeepers Chinatown
a proposal for providing improved safety in the doorways of our residential and commercial buildings where access to the building has proven to be difficult to restrict. 








Update October 5, 2017
About Workers/Industries in Old Town Chinatown Area












1,332 workers with 287 (21%) in construction, 286 in professional/scientific and technical services (21.5%) and 289 (22%) in health care and social assistance.

White, 30 to 54 years old, 55% earning more than $3,333 per month.


Download here.










Wider area, a look at 21,399 workers by industry, 
largest group professional/scientific/technical at 23%, Finance and Insurance 10.4%, Health Care and Social Assistance at 10.4% (2,223)

Download here.





Ruth Ann Barrett, October 4, 2017, Portland, Oregon, PDXdowtowner.com.  
Bio information at ruthannbarrett.com. 

P.S. Latest update here on Fong Chong Sex Club at NW 4th Avenue and Everett. 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

101Dogs Project for a Neighborhood Dogpark

PDXdowntowner, the citizen activist channel, is sponsoring a project to photograph 101 Dogs and their Caregivers as an opening to petitioning the mayor and commissioners for a dog park in our neighborhood, Old Town Chinatown here in Portland, Oregon. Our neighborhood is home to over 4,000 residents and another 6,000 employees or day timers who if they don't bring their dogs to work, love dogs.  Known as an "entertainment" district it is often overlooked as not only a commercial district, but a neighborhood with citizens from all walks of life and a lot of dogs (and cats).



Please visit us at our site at www.101dogsPDX.com, meet some dogs and their caregivers then support this project by liking us on Facebook. You can also help out by following PDXdowntowner on Twitter and Instagram. They are dog channel as well.


And this is not all just for the dogs. We need a place for neighbors to meet one another and a dog park provides the context for important and necessary community building.

You may want to add your name to our sponsor list by emailing me. My email address is on the website. You will be listed on our site with a link to a personal and/or business Website.

Our first sponsor is entrepreneur John Black of Rainy Dog Walks who has been an inspiration to me and my source for all things dogs.

While your here visit his site as well. Like Rainy Days on Facebook.





Thanks in advance for your support.


Ruth Ann Barrett, PDXdowntowner, July 13, 2017, Portland, Oregon.





Thursday, May 11, 2017

Update to Unsafe





As to safety, a person was assaulted and stabbed multiple times within the lobby of our building on May 8th.

Jacob Pedro Shroyer suffered traumatic injuries and remains in serious condition at a local hospital.

We have moved from the neighborhood to the lobby in facing just how unsafe we really are. It happened in the evening and no one knows the why of it.  Here is the OregonLive story.  We are all holding Jakob Pedro Shroyer's recovery in our hearts. There is a fundraiser for Jakob here.

I have been writing about the drug traffic and camping on our street and circulated the latest statistics available from portlandmaps.com.  For the last several years there were no crime statistics available. I found first person accounts were minimized and branded as anecdotal.  Residents receive suburban style advice to report, to report, to report, etc. etc. etc.  As drug traffic is a daily, ever expanding situation as is camping one has to wonder what will it take to have our elected officials be accountable to us for a change and stop with the excuses.

As mentioned in today's post on camping we are in what is called a Clean and Safe District. It is not clean nor safe.  There will be a meeting in our building on May 17th at 6:30 addressing safety. THAT ought to be interesting. Will report back. So far I feel as if I have been whistling in the wind.

Download crime stats here.



Camping Update May 11 2017

May 11, 2017
The New Chinatown Japantown Historic District in Old Town

NW Flanders between  NW 4th Avenue and 3rd Avenue is enjoying a moment of being nearly clear and clean. As it turns out our neighborhood is part of the "Clean and Safe District" which is also an organization. The Clean & Safe District "encompasses a 213-block area of downtown and is one of the oldest, largest and most successful business improvement districts in the nation. Businesses within this area elected to pay a fee to raise money that supplements publicly-financed services for neighborhood improvement, including cleaning, security, community justice services, market research and retail advocacy." Their accountability to people who live in such a district is unclear.

It turns out that all the reports on camping made to the City's One Point of Contact Campsite Reporting system had all been forwarded to Clean and Safe where they apparently landed in the garbage can. Finally, attention was turned on the organization and they finally responded by not only removing the campers but steam cleaning the street!  
A call from a landowner to the Mayor resulted in talk about a camp and loitering free zone being established with promises from Clean and Safe to keep the area clean and safe.  These photos taken this evening suggest it will  take diligence to keep the area clean.









All of this activity on the corner of NW Flanders and NW Third Avenue are around the Royal Palm Hotel owned, managed and operated by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare. The Royal Palm admits homeless individuals as residents once they have been diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness.


On the block where I live on NW 4th Avenue between Everette and Flanders the building that stands empty and neglected (it was once a Chinese restaurant) is also a home to folks.  Last year we fought off efforts for the landowner to rent to a Gentlemen's club.









Thursday, March 9, 2017

Public Safety and Livability at NW 6th and Flanders

Person Crimes


The corner of NW Sixth Avenue and NW Flanders is critical to addressing public safety issue on Sixth Avenue and Flanders as well as surrounding blocks that include NW 5th and NW 4th Avenues and cross streets from Davis to Hoyt and the Greyhound bus terminal.  Think of Katrina’s as the hub.



Scary.

Society Crimes also signal a kind of neighborhood that does not represent Portland’s Healthy Connected Neighborhood Strategy for even  the most basic activities such as walking, sleeping, and grocery shopping.  Many women who live and work here carry pepper spray. Friends from other neighborhoods hesitate to visit.  Most of the decision makers (community association, City agency staff, elected officials, business owners, developers) don’t live here, but may work here.  The Portland Development Commission offices are here, just around the corner from me on NW 5th and Everett.  


And hang on to your belongings, lock your car, and be careful who has access to your building.  Many of us live in buildings with lobbies that are not staffed during day hours - only late hours on weekends if at all. 



Back to the hub at the Corner of NW Sixth and Flanders. The corner store continues to deteriorate. 





Historical buildings contribute to the blight of our neighborhood. The City lacks any ability, despite programs and investments of the Portland Development Commission - not to mention URMs as this is one - to even stem the tide of blight and crime.  
See my video on the Story of U here on my blogpost, right column.









Across the street is P:EAR a program to creatively mentor homeless youth and a bus stop.  



It’s a popular corner too and across the street from the hub.


On the whole these folks are uninterested in non-buyers and can be courteous even. They are role models for our young homeless youth? Really.



As noted in a previous blog post on NW Flanders and NW 4th Avenue, it’s not uncommon to have men posted at corners, sometime two or three.  This is Nw 4th and Everett. The building is vacant and vacant buildings, historical and otherwise, parking lots, and empty retail space attract campers and drug dealers. It’s on the same block as my apartment. I pass it daily.




Getting off the Max at Sixth and Davis recently there were five people standing around on the NE corner and another four or five people at NW Sixth and Everett, an increasingly popular streetscape as many cars use Everett on their way out of the City which can also be viewed as a flow of customers.  I was not able to photograph the crowded corners and at Everett two women were fighting on the corner and in the street so I quickly turned and walked over to NW 4th and to my apartment.  Shouting, yelling, fighting. I don’t go out much in the evenings. Too scary.




It is complicated. Our first person accounts have been discounted, statistics and trend reports are unavailable, and the City as a whole is short on police officers.  A new look at the PDC’s role in our community would help and before the remaining amount of the $58M in funding (Five Year Action Plan) gets spent or is moved to the post office project. 




I might add this is the neighborhood where young adults from the suburbs come to be entertained. They park on and all around NW Flanders late at night.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

NW Flanders and Camping in Portland: An Update

(most recent postings at end of this blog post)

This is the continuing saga of NW Flanders Street in Portland Oregon and the last of my pictures documenting the life surrounding me.  I live at the corner of NW Flanders and NW 4th Avenue.  Here is what I have learned:

What most of the camps and individuals sleeping in doorways have in common is this:

Vacant building or vacant ground floor retail space (above) or
on sidewalks running along side surface parking lot and/or covered 
parking lot.  So neighborhoods with a surfeit of either or both are likely to be 
home to people sleeping on the street and campers. This is the case with NW Flanders 
between NW 4th Avenue and NW 3rd Avenue and may also be so in other parts of our neighborhood. This is what I see every day upon leaving my apartment. 

In earlier blogpost I thanked the City for cleaning up our street of the campers.  Days later campers returned.  NW Flanders at NW 3rd Avenue intersection. This blogpost documents the pattern of "sweeping" that results in one group moving out and another group moving in, or maybe same group, hard to tell.



This is camp around corner of Flanders and NW 3rd Avenue across from the Chinese Garden, a cultural asset that attracts visitors and tourists. This photo and the one above were taken yesterday on March 3, 2017.


Basically Flanders was not steam cleaned despite being a campsite. Garbage remains.





Across the street, days earlier on March 1st, a temporary home for an individual in a doorway of a building that has remained vacant for at least a year maybe two years. One looses count. At one point it was to be a "Gentlemen's Club" until neighbors complained.  See post and position paper on the topic of Sex Clubs.

Landlords are not required to maintain their buildings when they become vacant.

Sidewalks/doorways around the building or parking lot are not maintained. Snow, ice, dirt, trash. That includes buildings and parking lots owned by the Portland Development Commission (PDC). 



It would not be a stretch to think the person standing at the corner of the building is a drug dealer. 

Drug dealing has increased at the intersection of NW 4th Avenue and Everette. 
NW Flanders at NW 6th is a hub of drug dealing so this may represent an expansion of the business that goes on in broad daylight nearly every single day as shown in the photo below.  It's across from a bus stop, down the street from Union Station, and on the route tourists often take to get downtown from the train station. 


I think you can understand why it is difficult to take photos of such activities. I do not recommend taking photos of campsites or active drug dealing corners even though our City fathers call on us to do so as some sort of "proof" and way to go in and clear out campers only to have a return of campers in days.   

Update March 13, 2017


Campers back, but not on sidewalk on street. 




Update March 23, 2017


Situation back to unacceptable. Drug use, blocking of sidewalks, a camp-in on NW Flanders and on NW 3rd Avenue across from the Chinese Gardens. Again, on the path from their parking lot to their front door.  The sad part is that "sweeping" is considered somehow a solution or better than nothing. 
We need to stop an endless cycle that only disrupts and treats people as trash, sweeping them away but to where?

NW 3rd Avenue, corner of NW 3rd Avenue, across from Chinese Gardens


Around corner on NW Flanders


Update April 2, 2017


Flanders between NW 4th Avenue and NW 3rd Avenue

Four campsites, looking East from NW 4th Avenue, my front door.





April 9th the encampment grows and expands towards NW 4th Avenue.





Update, April 11, 2017

Letter to Mayor's Office, April 11th, 2017


Hello Seraphie,

You may remember I wrote the Mayor on February 21st about how the "one point of camping program" was not working very well. I would say it is not working much at all for my neighbors.

Why would the City not be on a continual quality improvement process until it either works or doesn’t?  Disfunctionality reflects very poorly on the City and contributes to the anger and frustration we hear at meetings from citizens especially meetings addressing homelessness.

So, I decided this morning to go look at some reports on the one point camping program that I saw available on the site. Here is what the reports document for February through to April 2nd, the most recent report posted.


NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders Referred to Clean & Safe (March 27- April 2)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders Referred to Clean & Safe (March 20-26)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders Referred to Clean & Safe(March 13-26)
 NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders Referred to Clean & Safe(March 6th - 12)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders  Referred to Clean & Safe (Feb 27th - March 5th)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders  Referred to Clean & Safe(Feb. 20 -26)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders  Referred to Clean & Safe (Feb. 13-19)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders (2) Referred to Clean & Safe (Feb 6-12)
NW 3rd/4th and Davis/Flanders (8) Referred to Clean & Safe (Jan 30 - Feb 5)

Since February 21st the campsites on NW Flanders between NW 4th Avenue and  NW 3rd Avenue was “swept” once in fact shortly after I reported it - what was I am sure just a coincidence, although I emailed back and thanked you (February 24th). 

So, guess we are special here in Old Town. I feel so special. We are dependent upon the Clean and Safe Organization, a quasi police and clean up organization that saves the City tax dollars (as understand it the landowners pay them, which in this case involves an enclosed parking lot, The Royal Palm - both on Southside of block - and a surface
parking lot to the North that I believe PDC owns and leases out -a  99 year lease.  

I would suggest the Clean and Safe organization is NOT delivering what I would call a fair return on our tax dollars for us residents here at the corner of Flanders and NW 4th Avenue. Is it the same with police services as well around the drug hub on NW Flanders and NW 6th Avenue?

What exactly is the role of Clean and Safe in our neighborhood and to whom are they accountable? The street has not been cleaned up after the campers exit to my knowledge at all.  Are they are waiting for us residents to happily join in on the annual “clean up” sponsored by our business club, The Old Town Chinatown Community Association that is scheduled for April 22nd, EarthDay.  The Community Association and its business members, including the Chinese Garden, have been nearly as ineffective as I am at getting to this problem, which involves the  Royal Palm Hotel, a program for those homeless who are diagnosed with severe and persistant mental illness, and one of our supposed  “good neighbors,” 

Here is NW Flanders looking East from my apartment door on NW 4th Avenue as of yesterday and after countless, mindless documentation on this blogpost.


April 10, 2017, NW Flanders at NW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon

I think it has come time to look at this situation in more depth and to inform our neighbors what the future holds for us and how are we to hold Clean and Safe accountable for non-action and what is the idea of using residents to “clean up” neighborhood streets when they are in this shape and most of the clean up is in front of businesses, parking lots and abandoned/neglected properties?
I am posting this letter on our building’s facebook page as folks have started to post notices that read like this one posted in our laundry room:

Cordially,


Ruth Ann Barrett
PDXDowntowner.com

P.S.
Clean and Safe cleaning stats for February (latest posted)

February Cleaning Stats:

  • 2,888 graffiti tags removed
  • 3,969 bags of trash collected
  • 672 citizen cleaning responses
  • 4,434 items of drug paraphernalia removed
  • 511 restroom inspections and cleanings
  • 225 clean-up calls by special projects bicycle (all requests responded to in under 30 minutes)
  • 629 bags of leaves removed

Update April 19, 2017


Clean and clear as of April 17th but it will take some diligence on the  part of Clean and Safe with prodding from City Hall to keep it that way.


Photographed on April 19, 2017

In the process of looking more closely at the Royal Palm Hotel at the far corner in this picture, NW 3rd Street it is interesting to note the following details:








The owner is the